Scripture Reference:Matthew 19:13-15; Mark 10:13-16; Luke 18:15-17.
Jesus and the Little Children - Story Summary:Jesus Christ and his apostles had left Capernaum and crossed into the region of Judea, on his final journey toward Jerusalem. In a village, people began bringing their little children to Jesus to have him bless them or pray for them. However, the disciples rebuked the parents, telling them not to bother Jesus.
Jesus became indignant. He told his followers:
"Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." (Luke 18:16-17, NIV)
Then Jesus took the children in his arms and blessed them.
Points of Interest from the Story of Jesus and the Little Children:
- The accounts of Jesus and the little children in the Synoptic Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke are remarkably similar. John does not mention the episode. Luke was the only one who referred to the children as babies.
- As was often the case, Jesus' disciples did not understand. Perhaps they were trying to protect his dignity as a rabbi or felt the Messiah should not be bothered by children. Ironically, the children, in their simple trust and dependance, had a more heavenly attitude than the disciples did.
- Jesus loved children for their innocence. He taught that entering heaven is not about great scholarly knowledge, admirable accomplishments, or social status. It requires simple faith in God.
- Immediately after this lesson, Jesus instructed a rich young man about humility, continuing this theme of childlike acceptance of the gospel. The young man went away sad because he was unable to trust fully in God instead of his wealth.
Question for Reflection:Sometimes we can make our spiritual life more complicated than it should be. We each need to ask, "Do I have the childlike faith to depend on Jesus, and Jesus alone, for entering God's kingdom?"
Jack Zavada, a career writer and contributor for About.com, is host to a Christian website for singles. Never married, Jack feels that the hard-won lessons he has learned may help other Christian singles make sense of their lives. His articles and ebooks offer great hope and encouragement. To contact him or for more information, visit Jack's Bio Page.