Matthew 18:1-14; Mark 9:33:-37; Luke 9:46-48 Matthew 19:13-15; Mark 10,13-16; Luke 18:15-1
The disciples were walking with Jesus and whispering to each other. They wondered which one of them was the greatest of all. Some said it was Peter but others thought John was the most important disciple. They began to argue about it and decided to ask Jesus what He thought. Jesus did not answer right away. There was a child playing nearby and Jesus called the child over and put him on His knee.
“Do you see this little one?” He asked. “Anybody who can become like a child, trusting and humble, that person will become the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. Whoever takes care of a child and teaches him or her about me, has also welcomed Me but anyone who hurts child, or teach him or her not to trust in me will be in terrible trouble. It would be better for them if a huge stone were tied around their neck and someone threw them into the water!”
Jesus’ friends shivered at the thought. They looked at the little child on Jesus’ lap. How could a child be so important, they wondered. Then Jesus said. “Take care of the children and love them the same way a shepherd loves his sheep. A shepherd searches all night just to find the one missing sheep. Every single child is precious to God, He loves them all.”
Jesus’ disciples asked. “What if somebody cheats us?
“What if someone does something really wrong?”
Jesus told them that if someone hurts them, they should first go to that person alone and gently see if they can somehow help make things right again. “If that does not work, then take friends with you, only when the person refuses to admit he is wrong should you report him.” The Lord smiled His gentle, strong smile. “Remember, I’m always going to be with you. Whenever two or more of you gather together, I’ll be listening. I will be right there, in the game room with you, listening to your prayers.”
That is why we are never alone. Even though we cannot see Jesus He is by our side, watching over us. Jesus is the special Friend of children. He once told His disciples that the angels of little ones are always very close to God in heaven. Children are very trusting and so they are very, very special to God. He thinks of every child as a special treasure.
The parents who had heard Jesus preach knew this so one day a group of them brought their young children to Him. They asked if He would put His hands on them and pray for them but the disciples said. “Go away; can’t you see the Teacher needs to rest?”
“Don’t waste the Teacher’s time, He’s got more important things to do than play with babies!”
Jesus shook His head angrily. “No.” He said. “Don’t send these children away. Let them come to me.”
He looked at His disciples and used the children to teach them more about His kingdom. “The kingdom of heaven belongs to anyone who is as trusting and willing to believe and accept gifts as these little ones. Only those who are as humble as children will enter My kingdom.”
Then Jesus stretched out His strong hands and touched the heads of all the babies and little children who stood around Him. He hugged them, held them close and whispered into their little ears. This made them giggle. The mothers laughed as the children came running back into their arms. The disciples looked on and joined in the fun, they even smiled. Better than anyone else, the children knew what Jesus meant when He said. “Come to me.”