Mark 10:13-16 (1)


Jesus loves children
Reading: Mark 10:13-16
Additional reading: Isaiah 11:6-10

It was when Jesus became very famous.
He was well known as a good spiritual leader.
So, people brought their little children to Jesus.
They wanted Jesus to place his hands on them and bless them.

But the disciples didn’t like this at all.
So they rebuked them.
But Jesus saw this, he was mad.
So, he said to his students:
“Let the little children come to me.
Don’t you ever hinder them, because I belong to them.
I am serious.
Those who do not welcome me like these little children will never have me.
I belong to people who are like little children.”

In a sense, Jesus was asking his disciples:
“Can you feel this joy of God here?
This joy belongs God.
Can you feel my joy for these children?
When you welcome these children, you are welcoming God?
This is so true, isn’t it?
Those who are like children love God.
I feel the joy and peace of God, the joyous peace of God as God welcome these children.”

Then he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.
Welcoming these children, Jesus was welcoming those who welcome him.
These little children trust him.
They feel joy, as they come to him.
Jesus feel joy as he blesses them.

Then Jesus might have said to children:
“I belong to you.
You are special.
I like you just as you are.
Just continually live with God.
God will give you joy and peace.
Don’t lose God.”

When his society look down on children, Jesus wants to welcome them and spend time with them.
Then Jesus said to his students:
“If you welcome these people, you welcome me.”

When his society look down on the poor, Jesus welcomed them and spent time with them.
Then Jesus said to his students:
“If you welcome these people, you welcome me.”
I pray that you may see God in this action of Jesus.
God is with them.
We need to buy into this.
God's ministry starts right there.

When we look at the life of Jesus, we may see that Jesus lived his life like a child, without worry or care.
Jesus simply expects God will be kind to him and satisfy his needs.
Jesus feel so much peace because of God.
Those who know God, can feel his joy and peace.

Where there is Jesus, there will be children.
Where there is God, there will be children.
No one can say:
“I love God but not children.”
If you are like that, may God change your mind and make you see what God sees.
May you feel God’s joy looking at children.
May you intuitively sense this joy of God.
May you enjoy God and God’s children.

Jesus says: (Matt 18:5)
"Whoever welcomes a little child in my name welcomes me."
Jesus was saying:
When you welcome children in the name of Jesus, you welcome Jesus.
When you welcome children in the name of Jesus, we welcome God.
When you welcome them, thinking of Jesus, you welcome God.
Think about how Jesus may want to welcome them.
When you imagine to welcome them like this, you welcome God.
When you help them worship God and listen to God, you welcome Jesus.

But still if you say:
“I love God but I don’t like children.
I don’t understand what they are doing.”
Then Jesus may say:
“I don’t understand you.
Can’t you love those whom God love?
Can’t you love what God loves?”

Then what is like to welcome children?
We cannot welcome children and say:
“Don’t act like children.”
“Don’t cry like that.
Don’t behave like that.
God does not like that.”

Just say that you want them to be quiet or behave, but do not use the name of God to say what you want.
In Korea, if a child cries or misbehaves, a parent may say:
“아저씨가 이놈하신다.”
Now in the church, a parent may say:
“하나님이 이놈하신다.”
Please don’t misuse the name of God.
Just communicate that you want them to be quiet or behave.

At the church, if you want to welcome children, you welcome their childlike imagination.
If you want to welcome children, you accept their shorter attention span.
If you want to welcome children, you accept that they can make a mess.

If you continually welcome children at church, they may become like Jesus.
Then they may look up to Jesus.
Then they may learn to act like Jesus.
Then Jesus may become their mentor.
Then they may eventually play like Jesus and become like him.
They may think like God.

If you want to welcome children, you also need to live a simple life.
In other words, we cannot place very fragile things everywhere in the church, and welcome children.
You know what I mean.
Jesus can welcome them, because he lives a simple life.
He does not try to welcome children after preparing a high quality welcoming party.
Jesus didn’t prepare cookies and candies to welcome them.
He didn’t rent a house to welcome children.
He didn’t spend a lot of money to welcome children.
He just welcome them.
Then he share his life with them.

Maybe Jesus was saying:
“I just want to share my life with them.
That is it.
I want to see them.
I want to spend time with them.
I want to pray for them.
That is it.”

Let’s pray:
Jesus, thank you for welcoming us when we are sinner.
Thank you for loving all people.
Help us to welcome children and the poor, so that we may live our life pleasing you.
We pray this in Jesus’ name.