Monday 4 September 2023

Matthew 19:13-15

13 Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them.

14 Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” 15 When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.

The Kingdom of God is for everyone.

Were the disciples trying to protect an over-burdened Jesus when they attempted to stop parents who approached to ask Jesus to bless their children. Jesus’ response must have surprised them – he welcomes and honours the children and their parents. His message is that God’s kingdom is open to all, not just to those who may be considered “worthy” (read important enough.)

Jesus’ response demonstrates that God longs for everyone to be in his kingdom, and how much he values everyone. Just as Jesus valued spending time with society’s “outcasts”, this incident shows us God’s heart – a heart for everyone. In Mark 9:37 Jesus said of a child “whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name, welcomes me and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.” This verse tells me that whoever God values I should value.

Sometimes I feel I am not worthy of God’s love and care. These feelings deny the truth of the depth of God’s love for me. He has given everything for me to be in relationship with him forever. If I try to be worthy of his love and forgiveness, will I fall into the trap of trying to earn his love, or make myself worthy of him? God gave Jesus to die for us when we were “far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready.” If I was valuable enough that Jesus died for me, isn’t everyone?

Thank you, God, for your kingdom which is open to everyone. You have made the way in through Jesus’ death. Give me opportunities today to share this with others who still do not know. Amen.

Written by Claire Moore

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