“But Jesus called the children to him and said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these'” (Luke 18:16, New International Version, 2010).
I’ve read and heard this verse many times, and every time I have visited it, I have come away with the same meaning–that we should approach our faith as a child would, accepting and believing without letting doubt steal away our hope in the Savior.
However, this past time I closed my Bible with a new treasure buried in my heart.
While we are to approach faith like a child, I believe Jesus is making another point–He truly likes children. I can picture Jesus calling the children to Him, laughing as they topple onto His chest, knocking Him to the ground. I can picture Him tickling and playing and kissing boo-boos on skinned knees, and I can picture Him holding their hands, gently guiding them back to their mothers’ care.
And what’s not to like?
Children are happy. They aren’t worn down with worry and stress, and they always wear a smile. They giggle and squeal often, truly embracing the moment.
And when sadness or anger hits them, they don’t hide their feelings as we adults have learned to do so well. They have their outbursts, but then they regain their composure and find happiness again, feeling better having purged themselves of the unpleasant emotions.
Children forgive, and not just in word. One minute a child could have been slapped by his sister, and in the next the two are having tea around a little table and miniature teapot with all of their distinguished guests. They don’t hold grudges that grow and fester over time, pushing those in need of forgiveness further away.
Some hug, some kiss. Others are more shy with physical touch but don’t let an hour go by without uttering an ‘I love you.’ Children aren’t ashamed or afraid or wrapped up in what’s an appropriate display of affection–they let those they love know it the instant they feel it, and they protect those they hold dear.
Children aren’t worried with what others think; they do what feels right. And while their impulses need direction at times, they live life with passion. They live life in color. They don’t lie awake at night wishing they could get their day back to do over.
And children show compassion. They cry when they see others hurting, their tender hearts not yet calloused by a world that offers so many examples of suffering. They take with them to bed images of a sick child on T.V. or a homeless man on the corner and tuck them under the covers alongside their teddy bears. They don’t forget as easily as we.
Yes, the kingdom belongs to them.
Perhaps, if we saw Jesus with those little children on His knee, we would see child-like faith a little clearer. And, perhaps, if we saw those little children with their smiles and giggles, we would understand faith in action.
Thankfully, God gave me little children of my own, and I think He would have me get down on my knees and have them come to me. He would have me put aside the bills for a moment, put down the broom. He would have me turn off the iphone and let them come. He would have me watch and learn.
And, perhaps, when my hand reaches to tousle their hair, my fingertips would brush the kingdom of God.
Now it’s your turn. How did you respond to this verse? Link up or leave a comment below! Be sure to visit the other blogs and leave a comment; you’ll make that person’s day! And if you are linking your own post, grab the code for my button on the sidebar, and invite others to take this journey.
10 thoughts on “Let the Little Children Come”
When my daughter was little, she wore pink knit stirrup pants over cowboy boots. Every single day. I remember seeing her ride down the street on her little red tricycle, wearing that trademark outfit. She did not care. Not one bit.
This was perfect!
Thanks, Deidra! One of the first parenting lessons I learned was to pick my battles–and whether or not my daughter chooses matching clothes is not one of them!
I'm a sucker for a great last line, especially when it's God inspired. It's mind boggling how children really do belong to God, He knew all of them before the foundations of the universe. It's only with time and loss of innocence that children become able to reach for their Creator or not. It's heart breaking to know that innocence is eventually lost and some choose something other than the Love that created them.
Well done again my friend.
I love that last line too Jen! Beautiful!!
How much happier and content we would be if we approached many things in life like children. Jesus paid attention to all the people in life that were deemed 'not important enough' by most people. Children, women, old people, lepers, etc….
Very true; unfortunately, as we grow 'wiser,' we tend to forget everything we knew as a child.________________________________________
Such a lovely, heartfelt post.
Thank you for this post, as this week my children were NOT happy. They did NOT giggle (well, maybe a little). And I did NOT enjoy them (well, maybe a little). But as I read this, I realize that I am the one with the blurred vision – and I need to see my children as Jesus does.
There were lots of hugs, and tons of kisses. There was much forgiveness, and they definitely have traits that I could learn from – if only I could SEE. They truly are precious. What I take away from this verse and this post may not be what was originally intended, but it was a blessing just the same. Thanks for taking the time and energy to put your words out there to encourage and inspire us.
That's the beauty of scripture; even though there is probably a general message, God still speaks to us and to our individual needs or lessons that we need to learn. Thanks for sharing! And I love sharing, so I'll keep doing it as long as you read (and even if you don't) :)________________________________________