The Children

Matthew 19: 13-15. “Then were there brought unto Him little children, that He should put His hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. And He laid His hands on them, and departed thence. 

There are so many wonderful paintings of Jesus with little children. I’m not sure why this one appeals to me so much, except maybe because of the laughter. There is just such trust and joy on those little faces, and on Jesus’ face as well.

It was only natural the people would want the Master to touch and bless their children. The disciples, however, thought it was an imposition and tried to shoo the children away. Jesus told them to allow the children to come to Him because, He said, the kingdom of heaven is made up of such as these.

What did He mean?

First, it was a common practice for Jewish parents to seek blessings on the heads of their children from  respected teachers.  The laying on of hands was done to symbolize the fulfilment of the blessing. These children were very likely the children of believers who wanted the blessing and the touch of the Master because they trusted Him. ‘

It seems clear from Mark 20:13 and Luke 18:15 that Jesus was not saying that only children would enter the kingdom, but rather that only those who believe in Him with the faith of a little child will enter the kingdom.

I believe it is also significant in this passage that there will indeed by children in the kingdom. Some will be there because they are too young to have an understanding of sin and salvation (Romans 5:13); others will be there because they have come to salvation by trusting Jesus alone.

There is no doubt that Jesus loves the children–all the little children of the world, red,brown, yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight.

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