Let Them Come
He took the children in His arms and placed His hands on their heads and blessed them (v.16).
I recently read of a restaurant owner who instituted a policy that wouldn’t have been well liked by Jesus. Instead of letting young children dine at his restaurant, he announced he was banning little ones under 6 years old from the upscale casual restaurant. He won’t allow the young customers because he feels they’re bad for business.
Like that restaurant owner, Jesus’ disciples seemed to believe children were bad for the business of the kingdom of God. But parents brought their children to Jesus so He could touch them. (Rabbis were known to lay hands on children to bless them.) The disciples, thinking that children were socially powerless and unimportant and should not be wasting Jesus’ time, rebuked the parents and tried to keep them away from Jesus (Mark 10:13). Jesus became indignant with His disciples (v.14). The word that Mark used to describe Jesus’ emotions carried the idea of deep displeasure with them.
Jesus rebuked them because they failed to realize that there are no outcasts or unimportant people in the kingdom of God. In fact Jesus used children (eager and dependent) as the quintessential example of how everyone should receive the kingdom (v.15). Then Jesus took the children into His arms and laid His hands on them—a visible means of conveying God’s blessing on their future lives (v.16).
Eager to get on with the business of life, adults can sometimes have little time and use for children—tiny people who do not wield political, social or financial power. But, as followers of Jesus, we’re called to see them as gifts from the hand of God, to welcome them in Jesus’ name and to remove obstacles that prevent them from coming to Jesus.
Let’s model Jesus to children, conveying His blessing on their future lives.
Read Psalms 127:3 and discover why we should have a welcoming attitude toward children.
How does Jesus’ attitude and actions toward children challenge your attitude and actions toward them? What can you do this week to remove obstacles and welcome and bless young ones?