Let the children come to me
If you have ever been around little kids for an extended length of time, you know that they are not picture-perfect little angels. Some run around and knock things over, others ask embarrassing questions, and some can’t help but interrupt their parents’ conversations. The kids who gathered around Jesus were no different. There was probably a mix of all kinds of personalities and dispositions — some were rambunctious, some were shy, some were inquisitive, and some were demanding. But no matter how different they were, each of them was attracted to Jesus. And he welcomed them all! In a culture where children were taught to keep out of the way, Jesus wanted them to come closer so that he could bless them. “Let them come,” he said.
Jesus looks at us in the same way. He doesn’t mind if we don’t have it all together. He doesn’t expect us to act perfectly around him. He just wants to be close to us. He knows that each of us deeply desires to be welcomed, to be valued, to belong. And that’s exactly what Jesus wants to tell us. It doesn’t matter whether or not we feel worthy; it doesn’t matter whether or not we fit some ideal of what a friend of Jesus looks like. He just wants us to come to him.
With that in mind, read this passage (Mark 10:14) again, and imagine all the different kinds of children who were brought to Jesus. Think about the love and patience he must have had. Think about his overflowing joy as he interacted with them, both as a group and individually. Think about how he loved and blessed each one in a special way.
Now, picture yourself as one of those children. Imagine he’s looking at you as all the others are milling around. He says, “Don’t be afraid,” and holds out his hand. He already knows you inside and out, and he welcomes you. He doesn’t want you to feel unworthy. He sees the goodness that he has put inside of you, and he knows the kind of person you can become. Your rough edges will be smoothed. Can you hear him inviting you? Go ahead and run to him!
Word Among Us