“When the crowd gathered again, the people brought their children to see Jesus, hoping that He might grant them His blessing through His touch.
His disciples turned them all away; but when Jesus saw this, He was incensed.
Jesus (to the disciples): Let the children come to Me, and don’t ever stand in their way, for this is what the kingdom of God is all about. Truly anyone who doesn’t accept the kingdom of God as a little child does can never enter it.
Jesus gathered the children in His arms, and He laid His hands on them to bless them.” (Mk 10:13-16).
What is Jesus teaching us here?
For one, it is a lesson that His most devoted followers who associated with Him constantly had missed, so, on the law of averages, it would be a lesson that we would most likely miss, too.
For two, it is a critically important lesson because Jesus was incensed about the disciples turning the children away and gave them a stern rebuke.
And what was being taught? Jesus uses the terms "kingdom of heaven" and "kingdom of God" to denote the same concept: any expression of the magnificence, might, dominion, and kingship of Jesus over creation[i].
Jesus is asking us to be childlike in acknowledging our helplessness and our dependence: that we trust as a child, confident that all He has promised to do, accepting Him as Lord of our life in every area.
Here is a beautiful prayer of childlike dependence on God. I recently received this prayer, written by a faithful Egyptian Christian woman who I met recently.
Lord Jesus, we love You; we are here open to You as a vessel to contain You and be filled with You!
Lord, have mercy upon us; by Your grace we don’t want to have any part of our being closed to You. We would like to keep our being entirely and thoroughly open to You so that You may do everything in us, for us, and through us for the Body of Christ.
Lord, we stop our being with our doing and our working, and we keep our vessel open to You for Your doing, Your speaking, Your dispensing, and Your working in us, for us, and through us for the sake of the Body of Christ!
All quotes are from The Voice.
[i] Interestingly, Geoff Russell in his Facebook post today, 4.1.24, writes: “The word “heaven” is a circumlocution for “God”, i.e. a way of referring to God without actually saying the word “God”. It doesn’t mean a kingdom in heaven; it means a kingdom provided by God and ruled by God and which in every way is related to God.”