Commands of Christ: 73

Let children come to Jesus and do not despise them.

Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked them,  but Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:13-14

And people were bringing children to him that he might touch them, but the disciples rebuked them.  When Jesus saw this he became indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.  Truly, I say to you, whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it.” Then he embraced them and blessed them, placing his hands on them. Mark 10:13-16

People were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them, and when the disciples saw this, they rebuked them.  Jesus, however, called the children to himself and said, “Let the children come to me and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.  Truly, I say to you, whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it.” Luke 18:15-17

At that time the disciples approached Jesus and said, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”  He called a child over, placed it in their midst,  and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.  Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.”  Matthew 18:1-6, 10

In the eyes of men, children are of little account.  They are often viewed as inconveniences.  In the United States, in the name of convenience, we have murdered about 310 million babies through abortion (including chemical abortions) since Roe v. Wade in 1973.  Only China, with their one-child policy is worse in this regard.

We ignore children.  As a culture we often seek to delegate as much of their care and nurture as possible, through childcare programs, schools, age-specific programs in churches, babysitting, sitting them in front of televisions or computer screens, etc.  We consider children a nuisance to be avoided.

Jesus had a very different attitude toward children and He instructs us as His followers, to follow His example.  He spent time with them.  He paid attention to them.  He valued them.  They served as an example of His pattern of valuing the last, the least and the lost.  In fact, He held them up as an example for us to emulate.  Their humility and dependence are a shining example in our world of pride and independence.

Value children.  Demonstrate it by loving and investing in them.