Mark 10:2-16 (NRSV)
Verse 2Some Pharisees came, and to test him they asked, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?" Verse 3He answered them, "What did Moses command you?" Verse 4They said, "Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her." Verse 5But Jesus said to them, "Because of your hardness of heart he wrote this commandment for you. Verse 6But from the beginning of creation, 'God made them male and female.' Verse 7'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, Verse 8and the two shall become one flesh.' So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Verse 9Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate."
Verse 10Then in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter. Verse 11He said to them, "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; Verse 12and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery."
Verse 13People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. Verse 14But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, "Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Verse 15Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it." Verse 16And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.
I was leading a children’s sermon and needed a visual aid. I called on a member of the congregation that loved kids above all else. I asked him to stand in front of the children and smile. He did. I asked him to scowl and turn his back to the young ones. He could not do it. Even when I told him that in just moments we’d be using his scowl to make a point, he said he couldn’t take the chance of one child thinking for one moment that they were not loved.
People were bringing children to Jesus for divine blessing. The disciples seemed to think that children were insignificant to the ministry and harshly discouraged them from coming. Jesus couldn’t have that for one moment. He was indignant and scolded his disciples who had so much yet to learn. Being Love and modelling that love for the disciples, he took the children in his arms, laid hands on them, and blessed them.
Jesus, thank you for loving us all, especially the most needy among us, for every second of our lives. Help us to do the same. Amen.