But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and said to them, "Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.Mark 10:14(NASB)
Earlier in Mark Chapter 10, we read of a barrage of questions that the Pharisees were asking Jesus. They were not interested in the truth, but were doing their best to trip Him up and find fault with Him.
And it was following this barrage of attacks that we read, "and they brought young children to Him, that He should touch them. And the disciples rebuked those that brought them." Little children and young people were being brought to the Good Shepherd for His blessing... and yet the demonstrable hardness of these disciples' hearts is only counterbalanced by Christ's strong rebuke of their behaviour towards these tender hearts - hearts that were open to His saving grace.
In a sense, we can understand that the enemies of Jesus sought to prevent the glorious truth of Christ's redeeming work being spread to those that needed Him, but how devastatingly sad and shocking... to realise that Christ's own, chosen apostles, who knew about His Messianic mission to seek and to save that which was lost, were obstructing these little children and young people. How sad that parents and infants with an open heart to the glorious gospel message, were being obstructed by those who knew the truth - those who knew Jesus.
When Jesus saw this, He was aggrieved and indignant and openly rebuked His disciples. How dare anyone block these children and their care-givers from Christ. Indeed, it is suggested that Christ's rebuke to His disciples concerning this incident, was the most forceful chastening remark He made throughout His entire ministry.
How shocking that children and those who are lost in their sin should be blocked from the truth by those who are saved. It is no surprise that Jesus strongly rebuked them and commanded them to, "permit the children to come to Me. Do not hinder them these little ones; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these."
What wise parents they were to bring their children to Jesus so that He could bless them. How important that babes and infants are brought to the Lord, dedicated to Him, taught the Scriptures, and trained up in the way that they should go. The family unit was instituted by God and one of the priorities of every parent should be to bring their children to Jesus and teach them the truth of the glorious gospel of Christ.
It is also important that Christian ministries and pastors recognise the need to teach the children in their care the truth of Scripture and to take every opportunity to train these little ones in the fear of the Lord.
It is the trusting child-like faith of children that pleases the Lord. Bigoted religionists and self-important Christians only hamper others from coming to Christ... and may become the rebuked recipients of His exceptional condemnation. The trusting heart that is found in a child demonstrates the simple faith that we should all foster.
Just as a child looks to his father and mother to supply his daily needs, so each one of us should look to the Lord Who has promised to supply all our needs - according to His riches in glory. In this way, we are developing the child-like faith that is so precious to the Lord. Children do not expect to pay their parents for the food they receive or the clothes they wear - they simply trust their parents to care for their every need.
How important that as parents, grandparents, siblings, and souls who have been saved by grace through faith in Christ, that we share the glorious gospel of grace with young and old alike. May we not wittingly or unwittingly exclude anyone from coming to a saving faith in Christ Jesus our Lord, by any biases that we may harbour in our hearts.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the saving blood of Jesus, and thank You that no one is too old or too young to hear and believe the truth of the gospel of grace - that Christ died for our sin according to the Scriptures - that He was buried and rose again according to the Scriptures, and that whosoever believes on Him will not perish but have everlasting life. Thank You in Jesus' name, AMEN.