193. An Example

Short Meditations in Mark’s Gospel: 193. An Example   

Mk 9:36,37    He took a little child and had him stand among them. Taking him in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”

‘Important’ people, big people, famous people, like meeting with and encountering similar people. Previously I commented on the number of TV dramas that focus on life a hundred years ago and particularly the distinctions of ‘upstairs and downstairs’, the nobility and the servants. That time may have passed away but still today in every society there will be these social distinctions.

The disciples have just been chided by Jesus about their need for servant-heartedness. Now he makes the teaching more general and he does it by taking a small child. Look what we are told. He gets a little boy and brings him into the group where they are all sitting. But more than that, he gathers this little boy up into his arms. Now before we come to the teaching, note this. Whether or not this little boy knows Jesus, we aren’t told, but he obviously feels sufficiently secure to let Jesus pick him up. Was there a mother in the background watching what was going on?

But Jesus is teaching his disciples. They had been talking about leadership among themselves, who was the most important. Important people deal with important people is the way of the world – but not in thekingdomofGod!

Little children aren’t important, they contribute nothing to our social standing but they ARE people in their own right and God loves them and if He does, then so should we.  So, says Jesus, if you welcome one of these little insignificant people into your life, you will be pleasing me and welcoming me and my values into your life, and if you welcome me and my values, then you will be welcoming my Father in heaven into your life as well.

The challenge has to be, are there people who we consider too insignificant to bother with. Do we put people into categories and, for whatever reason, exclude some of them from our interest. Over the past year I have been involved in a community project that seeks to reach out and touch people in every walk of life (it doesn’t, but certainly a wide spectrum of people) and as I have been doing this I have come to appreciate ALL people I have encountered in the community.

Jesus isn’t impressed with ‘special’ people or ‘important’ people; he is open to all people and loves all people – significant and insignificant and he challenges our hearts to be just the same – and it is a big challenge!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s