“The kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”
Do you love children?
I hope you do, because Jesus loves them.
Some grown-ups treat children as though they aren’t important. But Jesus didn’t act that way, as we can see in our reading for today. Jesus became indignant— even angry—when the disciples tried to keep children away from him.
“Let them come and don’t hinder them,” he said.
Then Jesus added that “the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” The number-one characteristic of small children is that they depend on parents and other caregivers for everything. Jesus was saying that the kingdom of God belongs to those who, spiritually, are childlike in their dependence on their heavenly Father. As children lean upon their parents and rely on them for every good thing, people of all ages who want to enter God’s kingdom must trust him completely to provide for them, body and soul, for time and eternity.
The Bible says that Jesus “took the children in his arms …” Girls and boys alike received his blessing. In some societies, sons are treated better than daughters. But it is not so in the kingdom of God.
All of God’s children are created in God’s image and redeemed by Jesus Christ, and all share equally in God’s fatherly love and care.
Heavenly Father, help us to trust you completely. Take away our fears and worries, and make us all like children, trusting completely in you. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
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