“Then little children were brought to Jesus that He might put his hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the Kingdom of God'” (Matthew 19:13-14).
Forbidding children from coming to Jesus seems to be a common theme from the early disciples of Jesus to our present day. Thankfully, the LORD has a different view and rebukes such proscriptions we put in place for the next generation.
In the Gospel of Mark we read: “He took the children up in His arms, laid His hands upon them, and blessed them” (Mark 10:16). Yes, the next generation is blessed for they may be the generation that is “alive and remain” that “shall be caught up. . .in the clouds to meet the LORD in the air” (I Thessalonians 4:17).
Children, taken up into the arms of Jesus and caught up to meet Him at His coming. Jesus receives us in His bosom and we receive Him upon His return. Now that is true rapture.
Jesus revealed that children are to be the motif concerning the heart and mind of the saints in the Kingdom of God. “For of such is the Kingdom”. Oh, the simplicity, the pureness, the beauty of the relationship with the LORD. Total dependence, the beauty of love, the awesome wonder of adoration and worship, the excitement of being with the LORD, the Master, and receiving His blessing with His hands laid gently upon us. Ah, the splendor of it all.
Child-like faith is a joy to the Father and rejoicing of the Son: “Jesus said, ‘I thank You, Father, LORD of Heaven and Earth, that You have hidden the mysteries of the Kingdom from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight'” (Matthew 11:25-26). Yes, it is good in the sight of the Father that we come to Him in the innocence of children and receive the blessing of Christ revealed, the blessing of His unveiling, the disclosure of His heart to our heart in holy communion and the joy of abiding in Him; beholding “with unveiled face. . .the glory of the LORD, and being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the LORD” (II Corinthians 3:18).
It is such a wonder that Jesus receives us with open arms and holy hands. It is also a wonder that we can receive Jesus and “be called the children of God” (cf. John 1:12). It is a wonder because it is such a contradiction of what we see before us today: the rejection by many of Christ and the prohibition of many to the coming of the children to Christ. It is an evil that God will stop with His firm rebuke and the finality of His Word. “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matthew 18:6).
This is emphatic. This is exclamatory. This is a command. “Let the Children come to Me.” Let them come, indeed.