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.” After laying His hands on them, He departed from there.
This wonderful moment is captured by three of the four gospel writers. In it, Jesus blesses the children and answers one of the most profound questions people face – What happens to babies that die? So many parents have wondered or doubted, what happens to my unborn baby lost in miscarriage, or to a young child who dies of disease or accidental circumstances. During the Christmas season the pain of losing a child is amplified and those doubts can plague the mind and emotions.
You may have missed it in previous readings of this passage. There are two indications of how God values children and perceives their place in His kingdom. We see that God loves them, evidenced by Jesus’ blessing them.
Pastor John MacArthur reminds us in his book Safe In The Arms of God – “What we see here is the Lord blessing these little children and God doesn’t bless those who are cursed and Jesus never pronounced a blessing on any other than a person who belonged in His Kingdom. So this is a very unique situation where our Lord blesses little children.”
Second, we read plainly that “the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these”, which is true of all children before their age of accountability. So, for anyone who has lost one such as this, take heart, draw close to God yourself and anticipate a heavenly reunion. Though, I don’t know what that will be exactly like, I know who is scripting it… the God who made you and the loved one you lost. All of this made possible by the one who blessed the children. Merry Christmas!
What value do I place on children? Are they precious in my sight and do I bless them?
God, I thank you that you called me to be involved with young people years ago as a youth worker and ultimately a pastor. In these days, its a joy and privilege to serve with a team of people committed to blessing children at our school. Please continue to have Your favor upon us, for Jesus’ sake, and in His name. Amen.