“Some of the Passover pilgrims who are traveling along with Jesus and his disciples to Jerusalem have brought their young children with them. They ask Jesus to do a very rabbinic thing: to lay his hands on the children and impart a blessing, a berakah . . . . His disciples, who already seem to have forgotten his last lesson about humility, try to prod the parents away. Their rabbi is too important for such trivial things. . . . [But] The children themselves are parables that need to be listened to. People will not be allowed to enter the kingdom of God unless they can enter innocently and unashamed to receive it freely.” Michael Card
“Luke emphasizes how young the babies were that people were bringing to Jesus. Jesus’ rebuke to the disciples rings out still today in a world where thousands of children are treated as sub-human, as disposable commodities. These are the ones, he says, who most truly show us what it means to accept and enter God’s kingdom. There is something about the helplessness of children, and their complete trust of those who love and care for them, which perfectly demonstrates the humble trust he has been speaking of all along. Jesus doesn’t offer a romantic or sentimental view of children; he must have known, in the daily life of a village, and through growing up as the oldest of several children, just how demanding and annoying they can be. But he sees to the heart of what is means to receive God’s kingdom; it is like drinking in one’s mother’s milk, like learning to see–and to smile!–by looking at one’s mother’s eyes and face.” N. T. Wright
“Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary,
and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas?
Aren’t all his sisters with us?”
Moving From the Head to the Heart
- Do you “see” children, or are they just like “background noise?”
- What is it that you can learn from children?
- Can you still yourself in God’s presence, and gaze into the face of Jesus, like a child gazes into its mother’s face? Why not try this each day for a month, and see what happens.
Abba, I admit my helplessness. It is only you who can bring me into your kingdom.
For More: The Spiritual Life of Children by Robert Coles