“Then little children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked those who brought them. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.”
Here is the scene: Parents were bringing their young children, including infants, to be blessed by Jesus. The Disciples, probably for numerous reasons (delays, children are seen and not heard, etc.) rebuked both the parents and the kids. Jesus, once again, has to rebuke His disciples for their hard hearts and lack of understanding and then proceeds to bless all the children that had been brought to Him. Sounds eerily familiar to me…does it to you?
“Hey Dad! I want to show you what I just did!”
“Not now, son…I’m in the middle of something.”
“Honey…he really wants your attention. Can’t you stop for just a minute and go look?”
There are other, more theologically profound meanings that you can draw out of this passage, of course. The parents were concerned for the spiritual wellbeing of their kids. Jesus was willing to bless and accept the “least of these” despite the cultural norm to do otherwise. This passage, combined with the ones right before and after, tells us many things about the family from God’s perspective. Yes, these are deep and important teachings, but it’s Jesus’ willingness to stop what He was doing that keeps hitting me in the face as a father of four.
He did it for children, prostitutes, lepers, tax collectors, the sick, the lame, the blind, the rich and the poor alike…regardless of His schedule or societal norms. Jesus was always willing to STOP for those who wanted to know Him. Do you remember the day He stopped for YOU? How willing are YOU to stop for those around you? I know, I know…you are SO busy! Do you really want to go there? Jesus, Creator of Everything and the Redeemer of Man wasn’t too busy… but YOU are?
One interesting point: Jesus didn’t spend much time with unrepentant sinners, and neither should we (don’t throw your pearls to swine, Mth 7:6). As Children of God, we are stewards of many things including the time we have been given. We should always be willing to invest it in eternal matters such as sharing the Gospel, discipleship, encouraging, or teaching…while at the same time willing to divert it away from temporal things when necessary, including work, emails, Facebook, Netflix, or the next round of golf.
Jesus took the time to bless the people around Him who wanted His attention. We should, too.