June 16

Text: Matthew 19:13, 14

 Then some children were brought to Him so that He might lay His hands on them and pray; and the disciples rebuked them.   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." (NASB)

Again, as in a previous devotional, emphasis must be placed on the role of a child in their society.  Children socially were to be disregarded.  Primarily because of inexperience, children were regarded as uninformed beings who had little worthwhile to note about the realities of adult life.  Adult concerns were infinitely more valuable than any children’s concerns.

Contrast that basic attitude toward children with the basic attitude toward children in this society: child’s rights, the punishment of children, the value of directing some advertisement toward children, the importance of extracurricular activities designed for children, attitudes regarding allowances, attitudes toward chores, etc.

The basic reaction of the disciples (and no doubt of many men present) was that Jesus’ time spent blessing children was an extremely poor use of time.  The disciples did not just discourage the children (and the parents who brought them)—the disciples rebuked them!

Jesus confronted the disciples—“Leave the children alone—do not hinder them from approaching me!”  The reason: “It is people like children who possess the kingdom.”  Perhaps Jesus was stressing their unassuming willingness to learn.  Contrast this incident with the next incident in Matthew 19:16-22.

Suggestion for reflection: Is your spiritual desire to learn unassuming?  (Read Acts 13:44-49.)

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