The Priority of Children

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
2292064768 e6d2b196d4 z

When Jesus saw what was happening, he was angry with his disciples. He said to them, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children.”

Mark 10:14

This story from Mark begins with parents bringing their children to Jesus so that he might touch and bless them. But the disciples of Jesus, figuring that he had more important things to do, told the parents to take their children away. Jesus, seeing what his disciples were doing, became angry. He said to them, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children” (10:14). Then Jesus “took the children in his arms and placed his hands on their heads and blessed them” (10:16).

In the kingdom of God, children are a priority, not a nuisance. Those who are powerless—children, widows, aliens, the poor—have God as their protector. Therefore, the citizens of God’s kingdom are called to exercise special care and concern for them. Children matter to the King of kings, and so they should matter to those of us who are his subjects.

Yet Jesus used the situation with the children to illustrate a further point about the kingdom. Not only were actual children to be given priority, but also everyone who wished to receive the kingdom must become like a child. We enter God’s kingdom with eagerness and vulnerability, with dependence and powerlessness. As we put our lives in God’s hands, relying on his grace and mercy, he embraces us and welcomes us home. Thus, in the picture of Jesus holding and blessing the children, we see a poignant picture of how God welcomes us.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: Have you received the kingdom of God as a child? What parts of you resist being a childlike recipient of God’s kingdom? How have you experienced the embrace of the King of kings?

PRAYER: Dear Lord, how easy it is for us grownups to minimize the importance of children. We can see them more as a nuisance than as an opportunity to love and bless them in your name. Forgive us when we fail to treat children in a way that reflects the values of your kingdom.

Help me, Lord, to receive and live in your kingdom as a child. When I think I can serve you in my own strength, help me to remember to lean into you, to rest in your arms like a child. When I feel weak and helpless, may I turn to you for strength.

Thank you, dear Lord, for embracing and accepting me as your child. Thank you for loving me as my Heavenly Father. Thank you for the privilege of being part of your family. Amen.


Working for Free

In the series Working for Free, we'll take a look at the different ways people navigate the world of working in a job they love, even when it might not be the way they make ends meet. Join the discussion or share your story in the comments. What do you think? Is passion enough?

Featured image above by Pink Sherbet Photography. Used with Permission. Via Flickr.