top of page
  • Writer's pictureTim Hemingway

Child-like Trust

“Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them.

But the disciples rebuked them. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me,

and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

- Matthew 19:13-14

In Jesus’ day children were considered second class citizens, which is why Jesus’ disciples are so dismissive of them – something that seems very strange to us in our day. To the disciples there was no reason for people to be bothering the teacher with children.

But Jesus paid little attention to the conventions of the day and by his saying, rebuked the disciples themselves. In his mind the disciples were hindering the children accessing the Kingdom of Heaven.

Matthew records Jesus using this phrase many times in his account. What Jesus means by it is everything that it means to belong to God. He means citizenship; he means adoption; he means eternal life. The disciples had the children down as second-class citizens but Jesus is saying, it’s the likes of these who are citizens of very heaven itself – what a magnificent difference!

Why is Jesus so favourable towards the children? It is because unless a person rely on him like a child relies on its parents – wholeheartedly; trustingly; unequivocally – then that person cannot enter the Kingdom of God. So, childlikeness is shorthand for the attributes that God loves. How often we see little ones receiving the good news about Jesus by simply trusting and obeying. Jesus said, ‘don’t hinder them from coming’, so let’s fling the doors open to them.


bottom of page