Children are special gifts from the Lord (Psalm 127:3). Most would agree, though some might find them inconvenient, even bothersome. The disciples of our Lord found themselves among those who preferred that children “be seen but not heard.” The inspired record is clear in describing Jesus as having a different attitude toward children. As parents were bringing their children to Jesus so that He might lay hands on them and bless them, the disciples began rebuking them (Lk. 18:15). One might speculate that the disciples, being aware of the great burden Jesus bore in His daily ministry, were thinking of blessing children as an interruption or distraction. Not so, for Jesus made this an important teaching point for His disciples, saying, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God” (Luke 18:16, NKJV).

Jesus identifies childlike trust and humility as essential traits of discipleship. On another occasion, when the disciples seemed most concerned about who is greatest in the kingdom of heaven, Jesus placed a child before them, saying, “unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3–4, NKJV).

While we must love and provide for the best interests of our children, let us never forget the great lessons we must learn from them! “Jesus loves the little children” and so must we by seeing to, not only their physical and emotional needs, but also their spiritual and eternal well-being.

–Glen Elliott–