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Matthew 7:7-11, John 3:16

Matthew 19:14

My mom returned our book, “Heaven is for Real” this past week.  If you haven’t heard about it, it’s about a boy, Colton, who claimed to visit Heaven during an appendectomy.  I believe him since his story doesn’t counter the Bible.  Chapter nineteen is entitled, “Jesus Really Loves the Children.”  One example of Jesus’ love for children is in Matthew, where Jesus talked about giving good gifts to children.

I know God loves our kids.  I have a recent example of how much God loves our daughter, Emily.  Emily and I had a Biblical conversation while driving home from an event.  As we pulled in the driveway, I felt satisfied that her questions were answered.  Five days later, I half-listened to a morning devotional, but knew that the writer had talked about losing wedding/engagement rings.  Then, one or two days after that, the kids were practicing tennis in the afternoon when I decided to sit down at a picnic table in a nearby shelter.  Before I sat down, I noticed something shiny and small on the concrete floor.  On closer inspection, I saw it was a child’s toy diamond that had become dislodged from a play ring.  I remembered the devotional about the lost rings and decided to read all of it on my phone.  It reminded me of the Biblical conversation I had with Emily almost a week before.  After the kids were done practicing tennis, as we were walking, I asked Emily if she remembered that conversation.  She did, but she had additional questions that I didn’t know about, but God did.  I listened to her and I again was able to answer her questions.  Evidently, it was important to God that Emily get answers to her extra questions.  Those answers were good gifts from God.  He showed He cared about her questions by lovingly and patiently going to great lengths to get them answered.

Colton was persistent in telling his parents how much Jesus loves kids.  Jesus’ words in the Bible revealed His love for children, and I’ve seen evidence of that love.  If you have kids, please remind them that Jesus loves them!

Matthew 2:1-12, Luke 1:26-45, Luke 2:8-40

Jesus’ mom, Mary, had out-of-the-ordinary experiences before Jesus was born, but also after.  When she found out from an angel of God about her cousin Elizabeth’s pregnancy, she went to her house and greeted her.  Elizabeth let her know that when Mary greeted her, the baby inside her leapt.

When Jesus was born, shepherds came the same day after the angel encounter to Bethlehem to see Him.  I don’t think Mary or Joseph would have known any of the shepherds.

Eastern wise men came, worshiped the child Jesus in a house (Matt. 2:11), and gave gifts including gold.  The Reformation Study Bible (Sproul) says, “Jesus was no longer in a stable (Luke 2:7).  This visit was some time after the birth (v.1), perhaps a year or more (cf. v. 16),” and, “The “Magi” were not kings, but priests or court advisers…They were probably from Mesopotamia, the region of ancient Babylon, although other locations east of Palestine have been suggested.” Mary (and Joseph if he was there) were probably amazed to see the wise men with their gifts and hear their story of the star.

When Mary and Joseph brought their son to Jerusalem, a righteous man named Simeon blessed them.  An elderly prophetess, Anna, gave thanks.  Since Mary (and Joseph) were from Nazareth, they may have not known Simeon or Anna.

Of the people above that either knew of or saw Jesus as a baby or as a child, Mary probably only knew  Elizabeth.  It seems to me that Mary might have expected the unexpected.