Gospel: Mark 10:13-16
People were bringing their little children to him to have him touch them; and the disciples rebuked them for this. When Jesus noticed it, he was very angry and said, “Let the children come to me and don’t stop 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.” Then he took the children in his arms and, laying his hands on them, blessed them.
“When Jesus noticed it, he was very angry and said, “Let the children come to me.”
We hold to a more romantic or sentimental view of children than was common in the time of Jesus. Nevertheless, even today we sometimes take the attitude that children should be “seen and not heard.” In keeping with that attitude, the disciples rebuked those parents who were bringing their kids to Jesus to be blessed. This made Jesus angry. He welcomed the children in a way that represented a rebuke to his adult followers: “Whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it.”
It is terrible to consider the number of children in our world for whom life is a daily struggle for survival. Apart from poverty and hunger, there are the scourges of forced labor, trafficking, physical and sexual abuse. And there are other forms of socialization that amount to a kind of abuse: teaching children to hate, to serve poisonous ideologies, to discriminate against others on the basis of race or religious differences. How do we unlearn such things? How do we return to the trust, openness, and wonder that should be the birthright of every child—before they are taught otherwise? Until we find that way, the kingdom of God is closed to us.
© Copyright Bible Diary 2019