Matthew 19:13-15: “Children were brought to Jesus that He might lay His hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked them, but Jesus said, ‘Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them ; for the Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.'”
In many ancient societies as well as in many contemporary ones, children do not have many rights. The old saying, children are to be seen, not heard kind of summarizes it all. Jesus recognized children as full human beings and welcomed them.
Children continue to be abused in our world: human trafficking; boy soldiers, female genital mutilation, child brides in arranged marriages, boys and girls abused by sexual predators, children sold into prostitution by their families, physical and psychological abuse, child labor, infanticide, emotional deprivation, bullying, overly possessive parents, ….. and the list goes on.
Jesus accepted little children, respected them and treated them with dignity. In this day when so much attention is given to abuse of children around the world, may we examine ourselves and commit ourselves to welcoming children as Jesus did…for the Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.