Bible Society of South Africa
Neville Turley

Time is precious – Day 14

Let the children come to me

Bible text(s)

Jesus Blesses Little Children

13Some people brought children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and to pray for them, but the disciples scolded the people. 14Jesus said, “Let the children come to me and do not stop them, because the Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

Matthew 19:13-14GNBOpen in Bible reader

Human Rights Day in South Africa is an apt time to consider the plight of children in our own country, as well as worldwide.

We live in a sin-stained world marked by the suffering of countless children over the centuries. The infant Jesus himself was only saved from a violent death because Joseph, forewarned by an angel, took Mary and the baby and fled from King Herod to Egypt.

The abuse and slaughter of children is ongoing. We read of child casualties in civil wars, child soldiers, child prostitutes and child trafficking. The list of barbaric atrocities inflicted on children seems endless.

In South Africa, in one province alone, police records from a few years ago revealed that 40% of rape victims were under the age of 17.

In patriarchal societies, women are subservient to men and children rank even lower. The belief that children should be seen and not heard, is centuries old and still persists. Attitudes to children need to change.

A delightful incident in the Bible reveals just how deep our Saviour’s love for children was.

Some people brought children to Jesus and asked him to bless them and pray for them. The disciples scolded the people, probably because they were concerned for Jesus’ very heavy workload.

Jesus, however, was having none of it – “Let the children come to me and do not stop them, because the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

Adults are responsible for the welfare of all children, and particularly for those entrusted to our immediate care. It’s a great privilege but an awesome responsibility.

We can begin by upholding them each day in our prayers and ask our Heavenly Father to bless and keep them safe from harm. Pray in the knowledge that God’s love is boundless and for all eternity.

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