Mark 10:13-16 People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them.  When Jesus saw this, he was indignant.  He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.  I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”  And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.

Jesus’ deep concern for little children reflects God’s care for us as his children.  Just as we become part of his Kingdom family through child-like faith by recognising our own helplessness and complete dependence on him for everything we need for our salvation (15), so, in the light of his example, we are to live out our lives in his family reflecting this same concern.

We care for children EMOTIONALLY by working hard to make the home a stable environment for their development (1-12); we care for children SPIRITUALLY by setting them the example of a lifestyle that makes JESUS more important to us than any of our worldly possessions or pursuits (17-31); we care for children RELATIONALLY by setting them the example of sacrificial, humble, SERVANT leadership in all our dealings with one another (32-45).

How sad it is that many families have become so dysfunctional in our society today that children are deprived of the sort of security, contentment, and peace of mind that ought to be the experience God intended for them in his design of the human family.  And, sadder still, this unintended feature of their development impacts their functioning well in later adult life!

We live in a very complex, broken world and many of its problems are beyond our control or ability to change.  But we CAN strive to conform our own attitudes and behaviours to Jesus’ teaching in this chapter (starting with the three areas mentioned above), and we CAN PRAY earnestly and often for the children in our care.  ‘It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness’ – who knows but that our gracious God in his great mercy may counteract all the harmful influences in the power of his Holy Spirit and produce amazing trophies of his grace for Jesus’ sake!