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Luke 2:41-52 This is Sanctity Life Sunday, the tenth anniversary of the legalisation of abortion in South Africa. According to official figures more than 600,000 children have been legally murdered by abortion since its legalisation on 1Feb 1997. Only an evil woman will kill her own child, and only an evil man will allow his wife to do so. Murderers bring a curse upon their family. Many governments and organisations claim to be concerned about the well being and rights of children, even forbidding parents to use corporal punishment to correct their children as the Bible teaches (Prov 13:24, "He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly." and Prov 23:13-14, "Do not withhold correction from a child, for if you beat him with a rod, he will not die. You shall beat him with a rod, and deliver his soul from hell."). But those very same governments and organisations sanction the most gruesome murder of the smallest and innocent of children - babies in their mother's womb. It is hypocrisy; woe to them when they shall stand before the Judge of judges. Jesus cares, loves and takes note of children. Do not ill-treat children and cause them to sin. In Matt 18 Jesus says that "whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him that a millstone be hung around his neck, and he be drowned in the depth of the sea." The story is told of a little girl who got converted. She was full of her first love for her Lord and asked the first man she met whether he was saved. He answered her, "I'm a theologian." So she asked him again, "but do you know the Lord Jesus; has He washed your sins away and saved you." He got annoyed and abruptly answered, "I've told you, I'm a theologian." She answered, "sir I know not what a theologian is, but Jesus' Blood can save from everything and I'm sure He can save you from that as well." When Jesus entered Jerusalem the children cried, "Hosanna to the Son of David". Hosanna means "save us". The pharisees were indignant that the children should cry to Jesus for salvation in the temple, and asked Him to command them to keep quiet. He answered them, "I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out" (Luke 19:40). Jesus came to save His people from their sins. Every year Jesus' parents went up for the Passover services at Jerusalem. It was important to them to go to the services and it was something they looked forward to. Even though it was a long journey to Jerusalem they still counted it a joy to go to God's house. And Jesus too, being only a child of 12 years, also rejoiced to go with His parents to Jerusalem, for He even remained behind in the temple to learn more of the things of God. However, for some people it is a burden to go to the house of God and listen to the preaching of God's Word. They look for the smallest excuse to skip a service. That shows that there's still something left of the devil in their lives. By treating God's things lightly, they also teach their children that the things of God aren't important, and when such children grow up, they will also despise the things of God. Mary and Joseph found Jesus in the temple only after 3 days. The question must be asked to Mary, "where were you looking for Him that you only found Him after 3 days in the house of God?" She should have known that He was in the temple. Also in the temple Jesus is an example to us, although He was only a child of 12 years. He was listening attentively to what the teachers were saying. He also asked them questions respectfully concerning things He wanted to know more about. The teachers and doctors of the law were amazed at His understanding and the way He conducted Himself and the questions He asked. Even when Mary rebuked Him, He corrected her respectfully that He had to do the work of His Father. In saying that, He also made it clear that Joseph was not His father, but that He was born of God. v51, “He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them.” Jesus was an obedient child. You must train your children to be as Jesus was. Don't be proud because your child is cute, athletic or clever. It might got to hell with that. But rejoice greatly if your child knows how to be obedient. Your children might have every other commendable quality, but unless they know obedience it will help them nothing and they will only be fit for hell. You have failed miserably if you have taught your children many things, but not obedience. Obedience is worth more than silver or gold. We also read that “Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and men.” Jesus served God even as a child. He overcame already as a young man. So too you must teach your children to serve God and overcome. Do not excuse sin in their lives because they are young.

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