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Matthew 19:13-15

Welcoming children as God does – you never know the impact you might have.

Tom Faletti

February 13, 2024

Matthew 19:13-15 Welcoming children


Who do you think was bringing children to Jesus, and why?


Why do you think the disciples were trying to keep them from Jesus?


Some commentators argue that this is not about playing up how wonderful children are.  A footnote in the New Oxford Annotated Bible says that this is: “Not an idealization of childhood” (The New Oxford Annotated Bible, footnote to Mark 10:1-16, p. 1810).  This may be about status, not about how cute or sweet or innocent children are.  Children had the lowest status in Jewish society.  The disciples were trying to maintain “control” so that Jesus could focus on more important things than children; but Jesus disagrees.


What is Jesus’s view of those who have no status?

No one is unimportant to Jesus.


What is important to Jesus?


What does this passage tell us about how things look or feel in the kingdom of heaven?


How should this affect how we go about our lives?



Take a step back and consider this:


If parents are modeling the love that Jesus has for children, it will have lifelong effects on their children.  The effects may sometimes be hidden at the time, but later, that love may manifest itself in powerful ways.


In the movie Belfast (directed by Kenneth Branagh, TKBC and Northern Ireland Screen, 2021), the deeply loving relationship between 10-year-old Buddy’s grandparents has generation-crossing effects on their children and grandchildren.  When Buddy’s father teaches Buddy to be welcoming to people of all faiths, we understand that he learned it from his parents.  And now he is shaping his child (who became the actor Kenneth Branagh we know), who has shaped the thinking of millions of people through his movies.  Our faithful love, reflecting the love of God in our marriages and family relationships, and the ways we pass on that love to our children, matters deeply.  By our love, we shape how well our world reflects its Creator.


So let us not lose sight of how important our treatment of children is.  We have an awesome calling to show children the love of God and let them experience what it means to be part of the love in God’s kingdom.  When we love them, we may be setting in motion good things that may bear fruit years later.


How can we use well the awesome opportunity to love the children in our families and help them experience the welcoming and love of Jesus?



Click here for the bibliography.

Copyright © 2024, Tom Faletti (Faith Explored, This material may be reproduced in whole or in part without alteration, for nonprofit use, provided such reproductions are not sold and include this copyright notice or a similar acknowledgement that includes a reference to Faith Explored and See for more materials like this.

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