The Little Children and Jesus
13 People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. 14 When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 16 And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.
The Family Man
That word “indignant” that we find in verse 14 is used several times in the New Testament, but mostly in reference to the disciples. For instance, when the woman pours expensive perfume on the feet of Jesus, the disciples were indignant because of the wastefulness. They are indignant quite a few times in the gospel accounts, usually because they feel morally outraged.
But Jesus is “indignant” only once – here in this passage. When the disciples prevent children from drawing near to him and rebuke them instead, he becomes indignant – outraged with their behavior. And even after this indignation, we see a tenderness and joy displayed with the children, as he lays his hands upon them and kisses them, just like a father would do…obviously Jesus treasures children.
A few things we can take away from this – first, a warning of types that I feel more and more compelled to make. Often, we feel that it is required for us to get married and have children. After all, we read about Adam and Eve in Genesis, and this passage about children – surely it is God’s will for all of us to go down this path! Not necessarily. Earthly marriage is a shadow, a metaphor, for the intimacy of our relationship with Christ. And the passage above indicates that we should treasure children…not necessarily have them ourselves. Please be careful that you don’t mix up cultural values and Christian values, and impose them upon yourself, or upon others.
Secondly…invest in the life of younger people, someway, somehow. There are tutoring programs like ULC or Little Lights. There are youth groups across this state. There may be a young cousin or nephew that you have . But Jesus treasures the young, and so should we. And in children, we catch a glimpse of the kind of heart we should have as well, a heart that openly and joyfully runs to our Heavenly Father – I guarantee that if you invest in a younger person, you will get more out of it than you receive…
1. Have you ever believed that it is God’s will for every person to get married and have kids? Where do you think this belief came from?
2. Have you ever considered that God’s will for your life may NOT be marriage and children? Why is that such a difficult concept to even consider?
3. Have you ever served young people/children in the past? What was that experience like?
4. What are some ways you can invest in youth this season?