A devotional thought from Adam Harwood for “Human Life”
We all know the song. Its theology is profound. “Jesus loves the little children. All the children of the world.” The older version states, “Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world.” Although well known, those words are not from the pages of the Bible. What does Scripture tell us about Jesus and children?
The Gospels present endearing images of Jesus welcoming children (Mark 10:13-16; Luke 18:15-17). Children were brought to Jesus that He might lay hands on them and pray for them (Matt. 19:13-15). But the disciples rebuked the people. Jesus does important things, the disciples must have thought. Children aren’t important!
Mark explained, “When Jesus saw it, He was indignant” (Mark 10:14). Jesus became angry. Then Jesus spoke against anyone hindering the children from coming to Him. Unlike the disciples, Jesus thought it was important to welcome children. He blessed them and cited them as examples of citizens of the kingdom of heaven.
On another occasion, the disciples of Jesus argued among themselves about who was the greatest in the kingdom (Matt. 18:1-5; Mark 9:33-37; Luke 9:46-48). Once again, Jesus pointed to children to teach the adults. The greatest, Jesus explained, will be the smallest. A person must humble himself like a child. And to receive children is to receive Jesus (Matt 18:5; Mark 9:37; Luke 9:48).
Pause and Reflect
• How does your treatment of children compare with the treatment given by Jesus?
• Why do you think Jesus would cite children as examples of kingdom citizens?
• Do you think it is important for children today to receive an appropriate touch from a caring adult (Matt 19:15; Mark 9:36; 10:16; Luke 9:47; 18:15)?