It was customary for Jewish mothers to have their children blessed by a distinguished Rabbi and it says something about the respect Jesus was held in that they brought them to Him. What would be seen as a great compliment in the modern context was perceived as wasting the precious time of their Master by the disciples. They just about understood that His time was short and there was so much they wanted to ask Him and things to be done: they weren't acting ungraciously, they just didn't think that blessing children would be at the top of Jesus' priorities right now.
This incident tells us much about Jesus: He was the kind of person who recognised the worth of children and cared for them, therefore He could not have been the joyless, gloomy person whom some reckon Him to have been. One of the beautiful things about Bearfield, especially in the early days of our ministry, was the children playing in the church after the service. In some ways it could have been considered inopportune, but the joy that it brought in, the fact that they could be free to play, an indication that they were at home in the sanctuary!
So, what is it about children that Jesus valued and liked so much?
1. A child's humility. Children generally have not yet learned to see themselves as more important than they are.
2. A child's obedience. Their natural instinct is to obey.
3. A child's trust. There is a time in most children's life when they believe that their parents have total authority and are always right! There is also an innate trust in other peoples' goodness.
4. A child's short memory. They have not yet learned how to hold grudges and to be bitter over issues.
Surely, these are the people we are called to be if we are fit to enter the Kingdom of God!