And they were bringing children to Him so that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and said to them, “Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.” And He took them in His arms and began blessing them, laying His hands on them. Mark 10:13-16
It’s hard to say why the disciples found it necessary to protect their Master from the intrusion or interruption by children in need of a blessing. I say “need” because what could have been more important at the time, a little rest and relaxation?
Maybe their focus was on those who brought the children to him. My guess it couldn’t have been anyone else than these “pushy” parents! These men, the Lord’s “handlers,” were certainly missing the spiritual side of things. That they widely missed the mark is clearly evident in the reaction of Jesus, who was incensed.
Many times we’re guilty of overthinking or overreacting to things that should be so simple to see. A child doesn’t overthink and may not think at all. He or she also carries no preconceived notions and sees things on face value. Here perhaps the parents were seeing the extraordinary value of the Lord’s blessing. What parent wouldn’t want this!
Not lost on Jesus was the teaching opportunity. Bringing children to Jesus is commended by virtue of his reaction. The need and value of exposing children to Christ is paramount. At the least, it’s strategic to do so, because of the child’s unimpeded and innocent approach to what is taught. Now one might think this is tantamount to brainwashing! With the truth? I think not.
For us all, our faith should be like a child’s, unfettered by all the world’s entanglements.
In matters spiritual, we should think spiritually. Better, in all things think spiritually. We should always be on the lookout for what the Lord might find important in life’s situations.
The disciples learned this lesson the hard way.