Welcoming Jesus In A Vulnerable Child

What did Moses, Esther and Jesus all have in common???

  • Moses was found in basket and raised by one of Pharaoh’s daughters.
  • Esther was raised by her cousin after her parents’ death and became a beautiful queen that God used in mighty ways.
  • Jesus, having been conceived through the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:18), was adopted and raised by his mother’s husband Joseph.

All three of these individuals were adopted and cared for by a parent or parents who were not their own.

Our blog during the month of May is taking a deeper look at vulnerable children and exploring the basic ideas of foster care, adoption and orphan care. In this post we will look at what biblical truth should ground our discussion.

To begin, I think it is safe to say that most Christians already understand that God has a heart for the orphan and fatherless. There are several common verses that can be referred to in order to support this claim.

Deut. 10:18: “He executes justice for the orphan

Psalms 68:5: “A father of the fatherless

Hosea 14:3: “For in You the orphan finds mercy.”

Accordingly, there are many verses that give clear indication that Christians should reflect God’s heart and take an active role in caring for these vulnerable ones:

Psalm 82:3Vindicate the weak and fatherless,

Isaiah 1:17Learn to do good; Seek justice, reprove the ruthless, defend the orphan, plead for the widow.”

James 1:27Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.”

In fact, there are nearly 50 passages in the Bible that mention orphans and how the people of God should respond to them. The Christian passion for helping orphans is simply a reflection of the Heavenly Father’s own passion for them. [1]

However, the question I feel many of us may not be able to answer quite as easily is this:  Why?  Why does God’s heart ring with this passion?  Why should ours?

As I think about this question and study the heart of Scripture I see two simple answers.

1)   Being made in His image means being made with limitless potential and value

I remember when my daughter was born, looking into her face wondering what she would become. A doctor, writer, athlete, scientist, mother, leader? The potential was limitless! Why?  Because she was made in God’s image and nothing could limit the passion and vision for which God had created her. What is amazing about it is that this potential is not limited to my daughter. It is the same potential that is built into the DNA of every child God creates. His image alone validates our attempt to rescue a child from unhealthy and vulnerable circumstances.

God loves each child and died on the cross for that child. That act in and of itself affirmed the infinite value placed in each human being. Abuse, neglect and abandonment rob a child of the potential, the joy, the creativity, and the blessing that the child was created to bring to this world. The bottom line is that any child living in vulnerable circumstances (defenseless, voiceless, un-protected, exposed, susceptible and powerless) is not being given the love and care that God demands.

2)   Caring for the vulnerable is like caring for Christ himself

Opening your home for a child is like opening your home to God. The Bible says in Mark 9:37: “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me”

Vulnerable children are so close to the Father’s heart that as we love them we love Him. There are numerous times in Scripture where Jesus identifies Himself as the defender, father and protector of the defenseless, weak and vulnerable. Children, those at the center of this group, unmistakably deserve our love and tender care.

I believe that God has a special plan for each child living in a vulnerable situation. Are you the one who will help them find their potential? Is your family the family that will show them God’s priceless love?

Being an adoptive parent or foster parent does not mean you have to be perfect or have the answer to every problem or issue the child faces. None of us will be perfect parents. We may think our home is unsuitable for a lonely child. We might say this is not the right time or stage of life to include a child. There are plenty of reasons not to become a foster or adoptive parent. But perhaps there is one reason to say yes—maybe God is telling you it is time. Maybe your heart has been stirring for the vulnerable. You see, the only way God can fulfill His promise to be a Father to the fatherless is through you and me. Are you the answer to one of the thousands of children praying to be accepted into a loving family? Will you open your heart and home? [2]

[1] http://www.orphanhopeintl.org/what-does-god-say/
[2] http://www.crosswalk.com/family/parenting/is-your-family-called-to-foster-care-or-adoption-11626588.html
Image courtesy of Daniela Hartmann / Flickr.com
By | 2014-05-05T05:30:30+00:00 May 5th, 2014|Categories: Learn and Apply|Tags: |

About the Author:

John Warden is Reconciled World’s global staff pastor and the facilitator for 2:10. He holds a Masters of Religion from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and has more than fifteen years of ministry experience. He lives in Sioux Falls, SD with his wife and two daughters. You can contact him directly at johnw@reconciledworld.org.

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