13 Then some children were brought to Him so that He might lay His hands on them and pray; and the disciples rebuked them. 14 But Jesus said, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” 15 After laying His hands on them, He departed from there.
Even though we just read something similar to this in the previous chapter, we are unsure of the time lapse between what we discussed in God’s Protected Children and this instance. Jesus repeats the same principle, that those of us who come to God asking for His blessing in innocence and with sincerity will receive it. Too often we prevent folks from coming to God because of our religiosity. The disciples here thought Jesus was “too important” to be bothered by children but Jesus invites them in and embraces them and blesses them. There are two main questions we should ask ourselves as we read this today:
Do I rebuke those who are sincerely seeking the Lord?
In chapter 18 Jesus warned us about not being a stumbling block to those who seek the Lord. Certainly those of us who are “believers” would never consider ourselves a stumbling block, especially if we go to church and serve in some capacity. But how much does our religiosity get in the way? How many times do we create processes and classes and equations that need to be fulfilled “properly” until we get out of the way and allow someone to start their relationship with God?
Do I seek the Lord with sincerity and innocence?
I love what Jesus says in Matthew 6 while talking about why we shouldn’t worry:
33 “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
The original Greek word used here is zeteo which is a word used not for when we lost the remote for the TV but when we are desperately looking for something. It is as if you are hunting for something when you are starving to death. Another definition is that you aren’t just looking, but you are demanding that which you are looking for. Do we strive after God’s Kingdom and righteousness in our lives this way? Do we earnestly look for Jesus every day of our life? If today was your last, how earnestly would you seek Him?
We must take heed from this lesson that we do not inadvertently get in the way of others or ourselves in regards to God’s Kingdom. It’s easy to read this passage and think Jesus is talking to those who are outside “the church” but Jesus here wasn’t talking to the Pharisees or heathens, He was talking to His own disciples! So then, as we continue to follow Jesus, let us not think of anyone too bothersome to come to the cross and let us make sure we seek Him as the children do.