rediscovering christianity's forgotten, organic ways amidst the modern industrial religious machine

Children and the Gospel

by Colin Jones

13 One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him.

14 When Jesus saw what was happening, he was angry with his disciples. He said to them, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. 15 I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.” 16 Then he took the children in his arms and placed his hands on their heads and blessed them.

I read this passage recently, and it got me thinking about why Jesus treated children this way.

Was it the most strategic use of his time? I wouldn’t think so. None of his disciples were young children, so Jesus apparently wasn’t trying to start his movement with young children. The disciples saw what an inconvenience children were to Jesus’ ministry, but that didn’t seem to be the most important priority at this time.

Did Jesus see children as more pure, and thus more worthy of his love and attention? I am so thankful that my children have not yet been influenced by the world in the ways that my wife and I have been. But being father to 3 toddlers, there is one thing I am very aware of: children are self-centered, manipulative, and fallen. Beyond that, when you look at the people Jesus made time for, a clean record was not the determining factor… so much so many “holy people” saw it as his biggest flaw.

So what do children have to offer that is so profound? Nothing. They just come to Jesus as they are, no pretenses, no barriers like pride or more pressing things to get in the way, no good works to offer.

Then why waste his time on them? Because that is the Gospel. We, who have nothing to offer him besides our brokenness, are his treasure. What are the children hoping to accomplish by coming to him? Nothing. They simply want to come to Jesus and to be blessed by him. What keeps us from receiving the kingdom of God like children? It’s not our sin. He has removed that. It’s not a lack of knowledge, good deeds, or an impressive resume. Children have none of those. It isn’t because of a lack of desire on God’s part.

We have a God who loves us more than we could ever imagine. If we humble ourselves, throw off our own agenda, and come to Him wanting nothing but Him and His agenda for our lives, He will stop everything to embrace us and bless us.

Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.