Rev. Peter Greiner
Sun 21 Feb
As we once again plunge into Matthew’s gospel we see two very different responses to children. Jesus’ own disciples apparently had little time for the children being brought to Him. Although they were passionate about ministry they drew the line with ministering to children. May be they were following their own cultural values. “Children were to be seen, but not heard.”
However, Jesus’ response was vastly different. He wanted the children to be brought to Him so that He could minister to them. Jesus placed His hands on them to show that He cared about them and wanted them there in His presence. He then prayed for them perhaps reflecting on His own relationship with the heavenly Father.
As we delve into these verses we discover two rebukes taking place. There is the disciples rebuking those who were bringing the children to Jesus. Then there is Jesus rebuking His disciples for hindering the children in coming to Him.
Jesus makes it plain to them of the children’s importance when He says to those who were listening, “for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Jesus is making the point, as He did in Matthew 18, that unless we become like little children we will not enter. Jesus is reminding all present that we enter the kingdom by grace. Little children were totally reliant on gracious help. So are we when it comes to walking with God!