JESUS AND THE CHILDREN: DISAPPOINTMENT
I will never forget that day for as long as I live! We all (my friends and I with our children) were very tired from walking. We had been following Jesus, listening to His every word. He was like no one else we had ever seen or heard! He was teaching with authority – and He even healed people with all kinds of diseases! We knew He must be from God!
There were so many people that we didn’t think we could even get close to him, but — WE WERE DETERMINED! Oh, we were so excited. The children could hardly contain themselves when we finally got close enough to see him. Imagine our disappointment and utter dismay when His close friends stopped us. They told us to go away, that Jesus was tired and couldn’t be bothered with the children right now. What a letdown! — and so typical of the leaders. They must have thought children didn’t matter much or couldn’t understand things, but they were so very wrong.
We hadn’t come this far just to be turned away. I mustered up my courage and with tears streaming down my face, cried out, “Please, I beg you! I know He is tired, but we won’t take much time, and it will mean so much to the children to have been with Him.” They would not budge.
JESUS AND THE CHILDREN: A BLESSING
We slowly turned and started to walk away when we heard Jesus talking. What was He saying – something about the children? Imagine our surprise and happiness when we realized that He actually reprimanded His friends, saying, “Let the little children come to me, and don’t stop them, because the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” (Luke 18:16-17)
Can you believe it? This wonderful teacher said that the kingdom of God belongs to those who are like little children!
Then He took each one of the children, and laying His hands on them, He blessed them. How gently, how kindly, and how tenderly he treated them! What a joy to this mother’s heart to see how much He loved the children!
What a lesson to us as parents to love our children, never to push them aside. Because of His great love for us and for them, we should lovingly and gently teach our children to be lovers of God, respecting and honoring Him always.
At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked,
“So who is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
He called a small child and had him stand among them.
“Truly I tell you,” he said, “unless you turn and become like little children,
you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself
like this child—this one is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
Father, will you open our eyes to the children around us? They are full of wonder and curiosity and are so trusting of those who care for them. May we become more like them – full of wonder, curiosity, and fully trusting in You, the One who cares for us all. May we see the children as you do and love them through our words and actions. When they frustrate us, help us to remember that we also frustrate You, yet You love us and treat us so gently. You are always ready to forgive, and have promised never to leave us. May we show unconditional love to our children, just as You do to us. Sometimes, we get tired, especially when chronic illness is involved. May we look to You for the strength and grace we need. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION
- What does Jesus mean when He says we are to become like little children?
- How does it feel to know that God loves you unconditionally? Can this help you show unconditional love to the children in your life?
- How can you show your gratitude to God? Some ideas: write a letter, poem or prayer to God; draw or paint a picture; sing; dance. Pass on the love to someone else.
Chronic Joy® Content Coordinator and Prayer Team
A grandmother but young at heart, Gayl enjoys exploring creativity through writing, poetry, nature photography, art, crocheting, and piano. She loves coffee, tea, chocolate, and jeans. Gayl has been married to Steve for nearly 50 years, with 7 children and 14 grands (some have chronic illnesses, and one son is now with Jesus). Always learning and writing from her heart about life, her desire is to know God better, glorify Him, and encourage others. She blogs at Words, Photos and Art.
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