“They came to Capernaum; and when He was in the house, He began to question them, ‘What were you discussing on the way?’ But they kept silent, for on the way they had discussed with one another which of them was the greatest. Sitting down, He called the twelve and said to them, ‘If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.’ Taking a child, He set him before them, and taking him in His arms, He said to them, ‘Whoever receives one child like this in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me does not receive Me, but Him who sent Me.’ (Mark 9:33-37)"
“And they were bringing children to Him so that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and said to them, ‘Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.’ And He took them in His arms and began blessing them, laying His hands on them (Mark 10:13-16).”
I like these passages because of what they teach. It occurred to me that these passages fit right in to what we will be doing this week with the kids. Whether young or old, this is an encouraging passage for all involved in any sort of Children's ministry, whether it be camp, Bible classes, or VBS.
This passage tells us that we need to be accepting of several things.
We need to accept child-likeness.
Jesus told them they need to accept the kingdom like a child. The kingdom of heaven belongs to child-like people. This means doing away with any self-centered ego. We are not to be worried about our greatness. We are humble, as a child is humble. It means we are just glad to be in the family of God. They way into Heaven is very low to the ground. The only way to get in is on our knees.
We need to accept the children.
The disciples did not have time for children. The text says that Jesus was “indignant” with them. Can you imagine the stern look and firm voice he gave them as he lowered his voice and told them in no uncertain terms to let the children come? Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world. He tells us and gives us and example of opening our arms to the children.
That is why we do things such as camp, Sunday school and VBS. We do not do this for us, for our egos, or any other reason that focuses on ourselves. We do this for the children. We minister to them, mentor them, and help them to grow in the Lord. We get down on their level, sing with them, and yes, even shamelessly get goofy. After all, we have accepted childlikeness to in the kingdom. We are happy to be together. We are joyful as God's children to be in his family!