Mark 10:13-16, “And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.”

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Tomorrow, we will be considering this memorable story of Jesus welcoming and blessing the children. First and foremost, we shall see that these little ones do not get “put out” of the adults-only circle of the worthy. No, children are properly citizens of the Kingdom. All who bring their children to Jesus may bring them precisely because theirs is the Kingdom.

But what is more, not only does Jesus’ Kingdom include children. His Kingdom only includes children! Placarded on the gates of this Kingdom, with royal seal affixed, are the words, “no adults allowed.” None who feel adequate before Him, none who feel ‘entitled’ by their long resume of attainments, by their matured and more penetrating minds, by their boasted seniority. Oh no, none of that! Seniority disqualifies from the Kingdom. Only children will receive His saving blessing. Only the inadequate, the insufficient, the undeveloped, and the weak belong. And more, only those who with childlike simplicity receive Jesus as He is – holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners.

I think one of the beauties of this Kingdom mystery lies in the King Himself. He only accepts children because He was a child once. Yes, the Son of God did not become a man fully formed. He didn’t bypass childhood. No, the Lord of all embraced this weakness. And unlike so many adults who forget they were children once, Jesus never forgot. To be sure, there is a natural forgetfulness. Memories fade with time. Yet some of that fading is culpable. How often we forget what it was like to be a child! We can be gruff with children and shoo them away just like the disciples, because we fail to remember our childhoods. We can shut them out because we are in on what is really important. Shame on us.

But not so with Jesus! He got angry at the disciples for shooing away those precious children. Jesus, the childlike One, who was “meek and lowly in heart,” had not forgotten what it was like to be a child. And so with the utmost tenderness, He welcomes them. He takes up their little bodies into his arms, He puts his hand on that disheveled head and blesses.