As a father, I really love my daughter, but I have to admit there are times when she can be annoying. Particularly when I’m trying to do something, sometimes important, sometimes not, and she desperately wants my attention.
It’s so easy to just give her only part of my attention. To say, “Yes, yes, yes” to what she’s saying and quickly brush her off and return to what I’m doing. Or if I’m feeling particularly impatient, to simply say, “Later. I’m busy now.”
And that’s exactly what the disciples did in this passage. Mothers were coming with their babies (some of them undoubtedly crying) or with their young children (most of them who were undoubtedly noisy and making a ruckus), and the disciples quickly got fed up with it, saying, “Get out of here. Jesus doesn’t have time for all these…kids.”
Jesus’ response was quick and sharp. It says in Mark,
When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. (10:14a)
Indignant. The dictionary defines it as showing anger at something that is unfair or wrong. And that was the response of Jesus when he saw his disciples shoving the children away.
He rebuked his disciples saying,
Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. (Mark 10:14b)
What can we get from this? That we don’t dare treat our children, or anyone for that matter, as the disciples did in this story. As insignificant. As unimportant. As not worth our time. Because when we do, Jesus becomes indignant. They are his special creation. They are people that he loved so much that he died for them.
And so are you. Maybe you feel insignificant. Cast off. Rejected. But when Jesus sees you treated that way, he gets indignant. He has compassion on you. He loves you. And he would never cast you aside as so many others have.
So come to him. Draw near, knowing that in his eyes you are significant. You are precious. And that more than anything else, he wants a relationship with you.
Lord, thank you that you are the God of the “insignificant.” That though others have brushed me off and cast me aside, you never do. Lord, may I never see others as insignificant. May I instead see others through your eyes, and always value them as you do. Change my heart, and make me like you. In Jesus name, amen.