There are many places in the gospel’s where Jesus does some rebuking. But there are only a couple of places where it is written that He becomes indignant. When we think of an angry Jesus we picture Him in the temple with the money changer’s. But there is another instance of equal value.
“Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”
Mark 10:14-15 is one of those scriptures that we can dress up by embroidering these words on pillows and painting pictures with a big grinned Jesus surrounded by youngsters; making it seem like it was said meekly. We read it with warm and fuzzy feelings. But we have forgotten that Jesus was likely yelling these words through gritted teeth, for He was indignant. He was angry and His rebuke was one of severity for the disciples. But why?
Culturally children had barely any value when this scene presented itself. Not only did they have very little to contribute to families but they were distracting and noisy. However when they saw Jesus, they wanted to be with Him. Parents brought there kids hoping they may touch Him. The faith these children modelled was pure and genuine.
And yet the disciples, like most adults would do, rebuked and restrained the kids. They were being disruptive to an important adult conversation.
This made Jesus furious.
As usual the disciples were missing the point.
And what Jesus says in His rebuke to the disciples is a rebuke for us all. He is telling us that children have value. They are not just cute accessories for life, or people we just deal with until they are old enough to contribute something. They indeed have much to teach us “all-wise adults” about the kingdom of God and how one might get there.
Children are genuine in their affection for Christ. They believe easy and they trust with abandon. We ought to be students of the kids in our lives and learn from their faith. And we better not hinder them from Him and with-hold the truth’s of Jesus to children.
The implication of this may be to commit ourselves more heartily in our service to the bringing up of the next generation. And we may have to step up to the plate and serve in sunday school so that no child will be turned away due to lack of volunteers. Or it could be service to middle school kids or high school students. Whatever this means for us individually, I can guarantee it implies self-sacrifice and humility when faced with the spiritual needs of little ones.
If we are to be Christ-like grown-ups it should make us furious when youngster’s are belittled and set aside so that sophisticated adults can learn important christian things. And we should jump at the opportunity to bring them to Jesus.
The Kingdom of God is made up of the faithful. And Jesus chose to use children as an example of such faithfulness. This should ring loud and clear how important our kids are to God. And it should light a flame in our heart’s also.
Set them at His feet so they may hear and learn that He is the way, the truth and life. Let Jesus bless them and do not hinder them anymore.