“Do not hinder them.” Mark 10:13-16

Mark 10:13-16 People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. 14 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. 15 I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 16 And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.”
Marco 10:13-16 «Gli presentavano dei bambini perché li toccasse; ma i discepoli sgridavano coloro che glieli presentavano 14 Gesù, veduto ciò, si indignò e disse loro: «Lasciate che i bambini vengano da me; non glielo vietate, perché il regno di Dio è di chi è come loro. 15 In verità io vi dico che chiunque non avrà ricevuto il regno di Dio come un bambino, non vi entrerà affatto». 16 E, presili in braccio, li benediceva ponendo le mani su di loro.”
     Families were coming to Jesus with their children. The word used for ‘children’ here indicates babies to preteens. Some parents may have had children that were ill while others simply wanted Jesus to pray for them as He touched them. What a wonderful sight it would be to see parents bringing their children to Jesus. But the disciples did not see it that way and rebuked the parents in front of the children. Why would they have an issue with this? It is evident that the disciples thought children were not as important and could not provide any type of help in the ministry of Jesus. They may have also thought this was more of a show for the parents. 
     Here is one of those occasions where the emotional response of Jesus to His followers was extreme disapproval. The verb phrase implies that His displeasure moved Him to indignation. Of course, this was not the first time the disciples made assumptions based on cultural customs instead of listening to Jesus.
     Jesus then responds by two commands so they don’t mistake His words. First, “Let them come to me”. This was a message to all the disciples but also an affirming message to the families: He wanted them to know that what they were doing was right. Second, Jesus, more pointedly, looks at the disciples and says, “do not hinder them”. In other words, in the way that they had been rebuking people, Jesus rebuked their actions against the kingdom of God.
     Finally, Jesus uses this experience to teach one of the greatest lessons about belonging to His kingdom. God’s kingdom is not entered into by means of human achievement, merit or what seems important in this world. It must be received as God’s gift through simple trust by those who will accept it just like a child who desires love and acceptance. Access into the arms of Jesus should be free and unhindered. What a comfort to know that anyone has an invitation to enter God’s kingdom!
Pray with me: Lord, I look at the way You have shown me Your love as I have trusted You in simple faith. Help me to encourage others to see the love and acceptance that Jesus has for all who come to Him.

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