“And people were bringing children to him that he might touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this he became indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”
Thursday, 7 October 2021
In this passage, we find Jesus and his disciples in a home in the territory of Judea. Jesus had been addressing the people about marriage, and some of them began to approach with their children asking Jesus to touch and bless these little ones.
Who were these people bringing the children to Jesus? During these times and as part of Jewish tradition, fathers took their children to the rabbi to be blessed. The role of the fathers was to be the spiritual leader over their children. They took responsibility to oversee the spiritual growth and well-being of the children.
The fathers wanted the blessing of Jesus on their children. His touch would be seen as bringing blessing. “But the disciples rebuked them”. Why? Was it because they knew how tired Jesus was and that he needed to rest? Was it because they wanted to spend more time with Jesus?
Jesus cares about children (especially those who have no one to care for them), and so he was angry at the disciples for keeping the children away. They were not being Christ-like, and perhaps we can say that they were misrepresenting what he was about, what he valued. In these times, children were seen as insignificant and unimportant, but not too Jesus. He accepted all those who were seen as powerless, those who had no social standing, and those that others classed as nobodies.
“For the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” We are called to be child-like so that we too may receive the blessings that God has for us.
As God’s children, we should care for children, especially those who have no one else to care for them. If Jesus cares for children, so should we, especially if we are to be like Christ.