Parents are bringing their children to meet Jesus, for him to bless them. His disciples try to turn them away. They think that Jesus is too busy and too important to be bothered with children. He’s got real teaching to do with adults, he’s got followers to gather. He’s in the business of casting out demons and healing the sick. Children were seen as having no value, no rights, they weren’t just “seen and not heard.” They were invisible.
Jesus is having none of this though. He insists that the disciples must not put up a barrier to the children coming. In fact, he goes further. He insists that if the disciples and anyone else for that matter, wish to enter God’s kingdom then they need to come with these little ones.
On a side note, I hope that this encourages churches to take children’s work seriously It’s good where possible to see the elders of a church prioritising the discipleship and care of children, volunteering themselves for creche and kids Club duties. It’s important that we all as church members consider how we can play our part in making our churches welcoming for youngsters.
However, there are two important points here. First, that we must not put barriers up, obstacles because we see anyone as too small, too unimportant. We must not let our pride, our status or our busyness get in the way of people meeting with Jesus.
Neither can we allow our pride, our sense of importance or our busyness get in the way of us meeting and knowing and growing in him. That’s why we must be ready to be like little children, forsaking whatever it is that has become an obstacle to our relationship with Jesus.