Jesus Blesses Little Children (1 of 2)

210103 01 – Mark 10:13-16

Mark 10:13-16
¹³And they were bringing children to Him so that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked them.
¹⁴But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and said to them, “Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
¹⁵Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all. “
¹⁶And He took them in His arms and began blessing them, laying His hands on them.

Some further information

It is looked upon as the indication of a kind and tender disposition to take notice of little children, and this was remarkable in our Lord Jesus, which is an encouragement not only to little children to apply themselves to Christ when they are very young, but also to grown people, who are conscious to themselves of weakness and childishness, and of being, through manifold infirmities, helpless and useless, like little children.

Here we see little children being brought to the Christ (Mark 10:13). Their parents, or whoever they were, that had the nursing of them, brought them to Him, that He should touch them, in token of His commanding and conferring a blessing on them.
It may have been, but it does not appear that they needed any bodily cure, anyway, it was not mentioned. And as were little children they were also not capable of being taught.

▪︎ But it seems, that they had the care of them, were mostly concerned about their souls, their better part, which ought to be the principal care of all parents for their children; for that is the principal part, and it is well with them, it if is well with their souls.

▪︎ It seems they believed that Jesus’ blessing would do their souls good; and therefore they brought them to Him, that He might touch them, knowing that He could reach their hearts.
We may present our children to the Christ, now that He is in heaven, for from there He can reach them with his blessing.

Here we also see the discouragement which the disciples gave to those who brought their children to the Christ.
They rebuked them that brought them; as if they had been sure that they knew their Master’s mind in this matter, whereas he had lately cautioned them not to despise the little ones. 

And here we Also see the encouragement Christ gave.

▪︎ He took it very ill that his disciples kept them away from Him.
When he saw it, he was much displeased (Mark 10:14). Christ is very angry with His own disciples.

▪︎ He ordered that they should be brought to Him, and that nothing should be said, or done, to hinder them. Suffer the little children, as soon as they are capable, to come to me, to offer up their supplications to me, and to receive instructions from me.
Little children are welcome to the throne of grace.

▪︎ He owned them as members of His church. He came to set up the Kingdom of God among men, and took this occasion to declare that that Kingdom admitted little children to be the subjects of it, and gave them a title to the privileges of subjects.
The Kingdom of God is to be kept up by such: they must be taken in when they are little children, that they may be secured for hereafter, to bear up the name of Christ.

▪︎ That there must be something of the temper and disposition of little children found in all that Christ will own and bless.
• We must receive the Kingdom of God as little children (Mark 10:15); that is, we must stand affected to Christ and His grace as little children do to their parents, nurses, and teachers.
• We must be inquisitive, as children, must learn as children (that is the learning age), and in learning must believe,
The mind of a child is like a white paper, you may write upon it what you will; such must our minds be to the pen of the blessed Spirit.
Children are under government; so must we be. Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? 
• We must receive the kingdom of God as the child Samuel did, “Speak, Lord, for Your servant listens”. 
Little children depend upon their parents’ wisdom and care, are carried in their arms, go where they send them, and take what they provide for them; and thus must we receive the kingdom of God, with a humble resignation of ourselves to Jesus Christ, and an easy dependence upon Him, both for strength and righteousness, for tuition, provision, and a portion.

▪︎ He received the children, and gave them what was desired (Mark 10:16); He took them up in His arms, in token of his affectionate concern for them; put his hands upon them, as was desired, and blessed them. See how he out-did the desires of these parents; they begged he would touch them, but he did more.

• He took them in his arms. 
Now the scripture was fulfilled (Isaiah 40:11), He shall gather the lambs in his arms, and carry them in his bosom. There was a time, when the Christ Himself was taken up in old Simeon’s arms (Luke 2:28). And now He took up these children, not complaining of the burthen (as Moses did, when he was bid to carry Israel, that peevish child, in his bosom, as a nursing father bears the sucking child, Numbers 11:12), but pleased with it.
If we in a right manner bring our children to the Christ, He will take them up, not only in the arms of His power and providence, but in the arms of His pity and grace (as Ezekiel 16:8); underneath them are the everlasting arms. 

• He put His hands upon them, denoting the bestowing of his Spirit upon them (for that is the hand of the Lord), and His setting them apart for Himself.

• He blessed them with the spiritual blessings He came to give.
Our children are happy, if they have the Mediator’s blessing for their portion.

Now let us reflect on this

Only recently, Jesus showed them how He views children (Mark 9:36,37), and they seem to have forgotten that again.

Children – small, feeble, insignificant, dependent, infant creatures.
Jesus really has more important things on His mind. At least that’s what the disciples may have thought.
They do not ask what Jesus thinks. They absolutely rely on their own judgment. And so they rebuke those who bring these little children to Jesus (Mark 10:13).

Why do these people bring the children to Jesus?
They want Him to touch them, with those same hands, that with a single touch, have healed the sick and gave vision to the blind. Power emanates from Jesus’ touch.
▪︎ Jesus’ touch gives new powers and a new future.
▪︎ Jesus’ touch gives blessing.
That’s what these people want for these children: God’s protection over these young, fragile lives, a blessed future, strength for the life they still have before them. And they expect that from Jesus.

Jesus wants to give that too.
Therefore, He blames His disciples for keeping the children away from Him. For Jesus, children are not a hindrance, no inconvenient items that do not count yet, but are pre-eminently suitable for receiving his blessing.
The child has the disposition which is expected of every citizen of the Kingdom of God: receptive, dependent, simple, and obedient (Compare Psalms 131:1-3).

Because only if you entrust yourself completely to Jesus, if you are no longer stubborn, and think you can save yourself, but if you seek the strength and blessing of Jesus, because you need it, then you will receive the Kingdom of God.
You can only enter this Kingdom by allowing Him to give it to you (Mark 10:14-15, Compare Luke 12:32. See also Luke 15:23, 24).

Jesus does not just touch the children just like that. He embraces them, and He puts His hands on them and blesses them, very consciously (Mark 10:16).
The personal blessing of Jesus — What more can we wish for?

Question for self-reflection

▪︎ What shows your dependence on God?

Prayer suggestion

▪︎ Ask the Lord to give you childlike confidence.

Twitter: @SchoemakerHarry
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