Do Not Hinder the Children

Mark 10:13-14, And they were bringing children to Him that He mighth\ touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, He was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to Me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.”

What a sin it is, therefore, to hinder children from Baptism! “They must come to an age of accountability and make a decision themselves,” the opponents say. Where, O foolish one, does Scripture require age of accountability and rational understanding? Nowhere! For who can understand the mystery of Baptism? Hindering children from God’s kingdom is the Devil’s plight.

How can a sinful corpse (Ephesians 2:1) make a decision for Jesus? It cannot! It’s dead! Therefore, “children are to be brought to Christ and are not to be hindered; when they are brought to Him, then we are compelled to believe that He blesses them and gives them the kingdom of heaven, as He does for these children” (Church Postil, sermon for Epiphany 3 on Matthew 8:1-13, Luther’s Works 76:262).

The disciples, too, hindered the children from coming forward because of their incapacity for abstract thought; but Christ ἠγανάκτησεν—He was angry, indignant, because this was wrong! Imagine Christ’s anger, then, when you hinder children from receiving God’s kingdom in Baptism because of your weak faith. If children could not receive God’s kingdom, even in Baptism, then He would not have said, “Whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a child shall not enter it” (v.15).

©Featured image, Suffer the Little Children to Come Unto Me, Jacob Jordaens, 1615-1616

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