If you’ve ever tried to reach someone important without an appointment, then you know how difficult it can be. The Apostles acted like executive aides when they turned away the parents who brought their children to Our Lord for a special blessing. According to the Apostles, these children were too insignificant to merit Our Lord’s time and attention. After all, he was so busy healing the sick or sparring with the Pharisees. Why should he be bothered by these little ones? But Jesus didn’t take too kindly to such restrictions. In the ultimate turnaround from what the Twelve expected, Our Lord rebuked them and welcomed the children freely and happily.
How astonished the Apostles must have been when Jesus told them that the Kingdom of God belonged to children like these. And they must have been even more bewildered when he added: “Whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it”. Once again, Our Lord was turning their values upside down.
Parents love their children simply because they are their children, and not because they have done anything to earn their love. And just as children instinctively trust their parents to care for them, God wants us to trust in his care for us. His Kingdom is a free gift, not a reward for a job well done.
And so, let us always come before God as his children – not child-ish but child-like.