“The Kingdom of God belongs to such as these”

Our world today is full of fear and hate and intolerance. So Mark 10:13-16 has special significance. If we can learn to have the faith of children, there may be hope for the world.

People were bringing children to Jesus 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.
Amen, I say to you,
whoever does not accept the Kingdom of God like a child
will not enter it.”
Then he embraced the children and blessed them,
placing his hands on them.

The faith of children is simple. The younger, the simpler. It isn’t until children become older that they begin to learn through the fear and intolerance and hatred of others to lose sight of Jesus’ simple message of love. It’s then that their faith becomes twisted.

A young child believes that Jesus loves them. “Jesus loves me, this I know. For the Bible tells me so.” They see pictures of Jesus sitting gently with children. They embrace that gentle love.

And so Jesus’ message is quite clear here. Not only was He instructing His disciples to not impede the access of children to His love and care. He was also instructing the rest of us to open our hearts to Him and to others as do children.

The world is full of charlatans who would have us fear God instead of love Him. It is full of people who would have us fear one another instead of love one another as ourselves. But nowhere does Jesus teach us to fear the Father or fear one another. In fact, Jesus tells us to love God and love one another as the most important commandments. And that’s what children do: They love God and they love one another, with open innocent hearts.

“Whoever does not accept the Kingdom of God like a child will not enter it,” says Jesus. “The Kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” We really must stop fearing and hating if we expect to enter the Kingdom of God. We must emulate the hearts of young children, whom Jesus loved and embraced and blessed.

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