Enjoying Our Presence: Mark 10:13-16

Focus Passage: Mark 10:13-16 (GW)

13 Some people brought little children to Jesus to have him hold them. But the disciples told the people not to do that.

14 When Jesus saw this, he became irritated. He told them, “Don’t stop the children from coming to me. Children like these are part of God’s kingdom. 15 I can guarantee this truth: Whoever doesn’t receive God’s kingdom as a little child receives it will never enter it.”

16 Jesus put his arms around the children and blessed them by placing his hands on them.

Read Mark 10:13-16 in context and/or in other translations on BibleGateway.com!

While reading from Mark’s gospel about Jesus inviting and blessing the children who were brought to Him, a verse stood out to me in a way I had never noticed before. In this event, Mark tells us that “Jesus put his arms around the children and blessed them by placing his hands on them.” (v. 16)

Mark is the only gospel that describes Jesus putting His arms around the children. In Mark’s gospel, the picture I get is that Jesus gives these children a hug (if they were old enough to walk), and if a baby happened to be among those who were brought to Jesus, Jesus didn’t shy away from holding the child.

When I read this last verse in Mark, I get the impression that Jesus first showed how He enjoyed being around the children who were brought (people don’t voluntarily hug those they don’t want to be around), and only afterwards does He place His hands on the child/children to give them His blessing.

I believe the order is important. Jesus is most interested in building a relationship with us – where we are in life right now – and only after a relationship is formed does He inspire change from within us.

While human nature tries to get us focused in on requiring visible change on the front end as evidence that we are moving in the right direction, Jesus knows that only after coming to Him will we be able to change the inside – and internal change will ultimately become external change as well.

Jesus’ invitation for everyone, regardless of age, is to come to Him and receive His love.

This thought was inspired by studying the Walking With Jesus "Reflective Bible Study" package. To discover insights like this in your own study time, click here and give Reflective Bible Study a try today!

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