“Then little children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on 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.” Matthew 19:13–15
I wonder what happened to those children whom Jesus touched. I wonder what his touch meant to them and for them. I wonder how their lives or their paths or their circumstances changed as a result of the touch—the physical touch of Jesus. Were these poor and dirty children? Were they orphans? Were they disabled somehow?
When reading these passages before, I have always pictured perfect parents bringing perfect-looking children to Jesus in order to have them “blessed” by him. Now that I’ve spent time with children who come from neglect, abuse, and abandonment, my perspective is a bit different.
In my current thinking, it seems like these were children of unfortunate circumstances. Maybe someone who was caring for “the least of these” had heard of Jesus. Maybe she made a great effort to get the kids cleaned up as much as possible and hurried them to the place where she heard Jesus would be—not an easy task with little ones in tow. Maybe she felt the disappointment when the disciples said no, rebuked them for coming, and began sending them away. BUT JESUS saw what was happening. He had a different perspective. Don’t stop them; let them come. Don’t get in their way; don’t hinder them. He explained to the disciples the extraordinary value of children—so valuable, in fact, that the kingdom of heaven belongs to those who are like these children. Maybe like some very needy children.
“And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.” Mark 10:16
I’m willing to bet they were changed forever by that touch, regardless of the circumstances from which they came.
Need a yummy side dish for your Christmas Dinner? Give this a try! Grandmama's Cranberry-Apple Bake 3 cups sliced apples 2 cups raw cranberries 3/4 cup sugar (I use Sucanat or dehydrated cane juice) 3/4 cup brown sugar 1 cup rolled oats 3/4 cup flour 1/2 cup chopped pecans (or whatever nuts you like)... Read More
Breathing Room is finally on bookshelves. But it was supposed to be there 12 months ago. To explain why it wasn’t, I have to back up a decade. When my oldest son, Andrew, entered high school, it dawned on me that I was in the latter half of my full-time, hands-on mom season. My... Read More
Over the course of history, in every generation, there is perpetual discussion about what story might qualify as the greatest story ever told. I have an opinion as well. The greatest story ever told is great because it’s common to every person who has walked the earth. The greatest story ever told is great because... Read More
Sandra is a Georgia native and has lived in the Atlanta area since graduating from Georgia Tech in 1988. She married Andy that same year and they founded North Point Ministries in 1995. Sandra’s ministry passion is promoting foster care in the local church. Much of her time these days is spent in seminary classes through Dallas Theological Seminary, working on various writing projects, and continuing her involvement with Fostering Together – the foster care initiative at North Point Ministries.
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“For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God” (Eph. 2:8).