“But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant. “Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him. “Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read, “ ‘From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise’?””
Matthew 21:15-16 NIV
I recently read an article by author, Gary Thomas, and He referred to his newborn daughter as “eight pound seminary professor.” He talked about all of the skills and fruits that children can show us if we are willing to search. His article excited me and encouraged me because this is exactly what I hope to show other parents through this blog! He went on to say, “No, my baby daughter didn’t teach me about predestination or transubstantiation, or about how to parse Greek words. But she became a seminary for my character — one that continues to this day.”
The Lips of Children and Infants in Matthew 21:15-16
There are a couple of things in this text that demand our attention. They cause us to set up and take notice of what we can learn from these children in the temple court who praise Jesus while the religious leaders are looking down their noses at Him.
1. The Children Recognize Jesus
The children recognized Jesus as the Savior. They called him, “The Son of David.” They remind us to get focus off of self and on Jesus. Look for ways the Lord is working and when listening when He’s speaking. Enjoy being in His presence and praise Him just because He is our God who is worthy of it!!
2. The Lips of Infants and Children Praise God
They didn’t just recognize Jesus, the children shouted out their praises to God! They yelled “Hosanna” which means save us. They praise God because the Messiah had come to save His people.
For us, this means that we are not ashamed, even in the face of nay sayers, to declare that Jesus is the Lord and Savior of our lives. We boldly praise His wonderful deeds and let others know He is the way to salvation.
What We Learn From The Lips of Our Children and Infants
Our children can’t fully explain to us the scriptures and sometimes might frustrate us to the point that we wonder if they are working with the enemy! But, if we allow the Spirit to do His perfect work, that crying baby can teach us patience, that stubborn toddler can teach us self-control, that little one learning pray can teach us faith, and that hormonal, teen can teach us perseverance in prayer. Looking for the little things in daily situations with our children can draw us nearer the Lord and like Jesus said, show us how to praise Him!
1. Be Intentional
Intentional is a loaded word. It basically means that we “do on purpose.” As moms, we look at each day with our children as a chance to be purposeful. It means look to teach them Jesus at every opportunity.
But, it also means that we are looking to see how we can learn from them. Jesus said, “unless you become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3 NIV) The point is to learn from their humility, simplicity, and teachability. They are so trusting, forgiving, loving, and easy to give away their friendships.
They have a desire to please. How much more would we praise the Lord and obey His commands if we could learn from our kids how to seek to please?
2. Slow Down
We live in a fast paced world. We take this rushed mentality into motherhood. We want our kids to grow up fast, to learn quick, and to always be ready to be on the go.
Kids by nature are typically pretty slow. They are like herding cats, taking their own sweet time. But, I think sometimes it’s a good thing. They tend to take time to really learn, soak up, and process. They also stand in wonder of new experiences.
What if we slowed down a bit? What if we took time to really learn, soak up and process God’s word? What if we stood in wonder of every new experience or looked at life as an exciting journey? I think we would spend more time in prayer and find more ways to praise God. I think we would stand in awe of our amazing our Creator and shout, “Hosanna” more often.
3. Ask Good Questions
The religious leaders were upset that Jesus was letting the crowds praise Him because they didn’t really know Him. They didn’t ask the right question. They indignantly, or in angry sarcasm, said, ” Do you hear what they are saying?” What they should have said was, “Who are you? Why are they praising you? Should I join in?”
Jesus on the other hand asked, “Have you not read…?” Jesus got right to the point, why are you not joining in? Do you not know who I am?
I think sometimes as adults, we have the idea that we have to have things all figured out. We are too prideful or ashamed to ask because we figure we should know or will be judged. Kids on the other hand are asking questions as soon as they can talk.
We can take a cue from them and be willing to ask God through prayer, ask leaders we trust, and ask close friend or family we know love us. Let’s ask good questions so we can get the right answers. Let’s not be afraid to be wrong or corrected but desire to know God more and driven by His glory.
Encouragement for You as You Lead Them
The purpose of this blog is first to glorify God who blesses little children and expects us to have their faith. Second, to share the ways the Lord has used those four little blessings in my life to teach me SO many spiritual truths. Finally, my prayer is that other mothers and women will view motherhood and childcare as an opportunity not only to teach our children but what lessons God may be trying to instruct us through them. And, ultimately, to find joy in Motherhood by remembering it is a great calling from the Lord.
Is there a calling more demanding and at the same time more rewarding than being a parent? How is parenting (or having children in your life) deepening your dependence and reliance on Jesus? What lessons has the Lord taught you? I would love to hear what the Lord has taught you from the lips of infants and children. Please feel free to comment or shoot me an email. We can encourage one another through our experiences!
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