People were also bringing babies to Jesus for him to place his hands on them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
The prevailing attitude in first century Judaism towards children was similar to the one in our American culture leading up to and beyond WWII. “Children should be seen, not heard.” In other words, they were lesser than even women in the mindset of everyone. The attitude of the disciples was the attitude of the day. “Hey, don’t bring your kids here, Jesus doesn’t have time for them.”
And think about it. Kids are kids. They are loud, obnoxious, often smelly, always underfoot. Early on they are very self-centered. It’s a good policy. So, imagine the stunned expressions on each face when Jesus said “let the little children come to Me.” I think there are three reasons He said that. First, there is an innocence about children, a curiosity about life as they grow. Second, kids are quick to say “I’m sorry.” Third,, and I think an even more important reason, children know how to trust their parents.
Jesus shows us that to be a part of His kingdom, which we have already seen is very counter-cultural and counter-intuitive, we need to come as children, with trust and with repentance in our hearts. We will probably act like children, but maybe more so out of innocence. And, if we do come to Him, He will take us into His kingdom.
Lord, help me/us have the faith of a little child. Help us let go of those things that entangles us, to give them up to You, and become innocent an clean and trusting. In Your holy name, Amen.
Until next time,
TO THE GLORY OF GOD!