One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him. When Jesus saw what was happening, he was angry with his disciples. He said to them, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. (Mark 10:13-14)
Every time I read this passage, I have to wonder why the disciples were so opposed to the children coming to Jesus. Had these men become so cold and calloused that they hated little children? I don’t think so. What then could have caused them to act the way they did?
Scripture seems to indicate that they were trying to protect Jesus. It appears that there was a lot more than just two or three children there that day. Actually, the way this passage was written in the original, it indicates that a few parents began bringing their children and then suddenly, many others began to do so as well. Perhaps the disciples looked up and suddenly saw a sea of faces. We often forget how exhausting all of this must have been to them. Don’t kid yourself into thinking that all of these boys and girls sat there perfectly still and quiet. There were babies that were crying and boys who were wrestling with each other and little girls who were too shy to talk. The translation known as The Message says, ‘The disciples shooed them off’, indicating that perhaps it was the children the disciples addressed. Whatever the disciples did, it upset Jesus.
Apparently, the disciples had become so caught up in the routine and requirement of their religious duties that they failed to realize that God’s primary purpose for saving us is to restore our relationship with Him. Paul wrote these words concerning the purpose of our salvation:
“For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself…” (2 Corinthians 5:19)
Christ’s ministry wasn’t about making His way through a daily routine. It was about restoring the relationship between God and men. Only heaven will reveal how many of these children eventually accepted Jesus as their Savior and are in heaven today.
I thank God to be a part of a church that places great value upon ministering to children and youth. Perhaps the greatest thing our church will ever do is to bring children to Jesus!
God bless you my brethren. (email: firstname.lastname@example.org)