By Helena Lehman of the
Pillar of Enoch Ministry
Written on February 3rd, 2011
In the Gospel of Matthew, there are two lovely passages describing Yahshua’s astoundingly deep love for innocent young children. These passages have led many Christians and Messianics to believe that all children from the age of 12 and under will be Raptured, having not reached the Jewish age of maturity, which is 13. However, having been a mother and having experienced a young child’s tantrums and vile moods first hand, my gut reaction to this teaching is to reject it entirely.
As an example, my own daughter was displaying her sin nature and her willfulness to sin by the tender age of 2, albeit rarely at that point. Furthermore, based on the horror stories that mothers of strong-willed children have shared with me, I am sure my child is not the exception! In fact, many young children from the age of two and up can be as vile and temperamental as their adult care-takers.
In order to determine what the Scriptures truly teach about children in the Kingdom of God, let’s take a look at what these passages have to say:
Matthew 18:2-3 - “Then Jesus called a little child (i.e. paidion) to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.’”
Matthew 19:13-15 - “Then little children (i.e. paidion) were brought to Him that He might put His hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, ‘Let the little children (i.e. paidion) come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.’ And He laid His hands on them and departed from there.”
As indicated in the preceding passages, I used Strong’s Concordance to analyze the phrase “little children” in both passages, and in every case the Greek word “paidion” was used, which means “infant” or “toddler.” Incidentally, this same word was translated as “young child” in relation to the narrative concerning “The Visitation of the Wise Men”, which is also in the Gospel of Matthew, a passage of which follows:
Matthew 2:8 - “And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, ‘Go and search diligently for the young Child (i.e. paidion), and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.’”
This analysis of the Greek word “paidion” that is used to define “little children” and a “young child” in Matthew’s Gospel proves that Yahshua was not referring to children over the age of 2 or 3 at the most when He called the “little children” to come unto Him. Therefore, Yahshua was NOT saying that all children under the age of 12 are innocent or are not under judgment.
Rather, Yahshua was saying that ONLY little children who are still totally open, fully trusting and virtually unspoiled by sin and willfulness will be lovingly accepted into the Kingdom of Heaven with open arms and without judgment at the Rapture. Furthermore, Yahshua was warning His disciples that ONLY adult believers who consistently display young child-like trust, gentleness, kindness, faith and love for their Messiah will be allowed to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
Instead of teaching watered-down doctrines that misuse the gift of Grace that Yahshua gave to us with His incredibly painful sacrifice for our sins, we need to grasp onto the fact that all of us need to be like little children who haven’t been tainted by sin, mistrust and fear in order to be acceptable as the Bride of the Great King of kings who is our Adonai and Bridegroom, Yahshua Ha Mashiach!