“Let the children come to Me.
Do not hinder them,
for to such belongs the Kingdom of God.”
– Jesus, rebuking the disciples (Mark 10:14)
Jesus reprimanded His disciples for pushing away the infants who were being brought to Him. He didn’t look at the children as a nuisance to be brushed aside, but saw in them certain Kingdom qualities adults needed.
Newborn babies depend solely on the mercy of their caretakers for survival. That’s why news about parents abandoning their helpless children startles us. Such treatment of the most vulnerable among us jars our senses.
When Jesus noticed His disciples ignoring the children, He spoke up. He became their advocate, making the strong and self-sufficient grown-ups stand and wait, while the seemingly insignificant members of the crowd monopolized His time. What a picture of the upside-down Kingdom! Instead of courting the people who really mattered (in the eyes of the world), Jesus remained perfectly content to hold up the vulnerable infant as an example of God’s Kingdom.
Just as children run to their parents without inhibition, dependent on their love and care, so must we run to God our Father for salvation and forgiveness, trusting in His all-surpassing grace to sustain us. Only those who understand their feeble state before God will be able to approach Him with childlike faith.
After we see ourselves as weak and frail before God, we must seek out those who are seen as weak and frail by other people. The disciples missed the correlation and quickly disregarded the children coming to Jesus. Perhaps we often follow their lead, waving off the insignificant, the poor and needy in our midst by choosing to spend our time with those the world deems more important. The question then confronts us: are we or are we not members of God’s Kingdom? If we claim that Christ is King, we should be living the upside-down, culture-subverting way that our Lord commanded.
One day, Jesus will again speak up for the helpless. Will we be held up as an example of childlike faith, or will we be rebuked for hindering the vulnerable and weak?
written by Trevin Wax. © 2007 Kingdom People Blog