It’s interesting to think about what makes Jesus get hot under the collar.
Apparently it didn’t happen often, because the gospels only mention it a couple of times.
He got mad at some hard-hearted folks who didn’t want him to heal a disabled man on the Sabbath (Mark 3:5).
He was angry with a group of swindlers who were using the temple to turn a profit (Mark 11:15).
But only once does the Bible say he was angry with his apostles, and it was over the way they were treating a group of kids.
Here’s the story:
And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them (Mark 10:13-16).
Most people ignored children in Jesus’ world.
Especially important men like Jesus.
That’s probably what the disciples were thinking.
Don’t they know who this is?
Don’t these women know what kind of schedule he keeps?
Don’t they see that they’re bothering him?
So they fussed at them and told them that Jesus is waytoo busy to bother with their babies.
They again misjudged Jesus’ priorities, and he wasted no time letting them know.
Many of us grew up singing “Jesus loves me, this I know,” so the image of Jesus’ blessing children isn’t strange to us.
But it must’ve shocked the apostles.
It might’ve even embarrassed them.
They might have worried that some of the Jewish power brokers would be turned off by such undignified behavior.
Adding to their incredulity, Jesus told these grown men that they themselves should pay more attention to children.
They should learn to be humble and innocent.
They should accept the kingdom as a gift from God. Depend completely on him.
Picture Jesus with a couple of smiling babies in his lap, and the disciples standing nearby with their mouths wide open.
Then watch a young child the next time he’s given a precious gift. Notice his wide-eyed gratitude.
Watch his innocence. See his trustfulness.
Jesus tells us, be like that.