“People were also bringing babies to Jesus for him to place his hands on them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. But Jesus called the children to him and said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.’”
– Luke 18:15-17
Why should we care so much about young people? Because Jesus did. We talked yesterday about teaching children to love and revere the Word of God, and today, I want to assert that we should make this invaluable investment in the next generation because our Savior taught us to do so.
Sometimes we lose sight of the fact that the disciples, who were called by the Rabbi Jesus to follow Him, were actually teenagers and young men. John, who was the youngest, was probably between 13 and 15 years old (or around 8th or 9th grade) when He walked with the Lord, and He was the disciple whom Jesus loved. Peter was the oldest, and since he was married, he had to be over 18, so scholars believe that he was around 23 to 27 years old. If 27 was the oldest and 13 was the youngest, then the rest of the disciples had to be in their late teens to early 20s. Lest we ever be tempted to disregard the youth of our generation, it’s imperative to remember that it was a group of teenagers who changed the world. If you love Jesus and are reading this to learn more about Him, it’s because of those twelve apostles. Jesus poured into them so they could take His Words, His ways, and His Spirit to the rest of the earth, which has had an impact from generation to generation, even to this very moment.
Jesus loves and welcomes children, my friend, and when you invest in young people with the intent of teaching them more about your Savior, you are going after His heart. Our God values, treasures, and adores every child to whom He ordains life, and He teaches us to do the same. As we befriend, encourage, guide, and support the next generation, we are doing the work of Jesus Christ in a powerful and tangible way — one that will undeniably change the world!
Jesus, expand my heart for young people and teach me to love them like you do.
Do you love the next generation?