by Ken Chumbley
Then little children were brought to Him that He might put His hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt 19:13-14)
Mothers were on their way to Jesus with their children, anticipating that Christ would bless their children in some way. But some men blocked the way. If Jesus had not ordered the men to get out of the way, the little children would have been stopped altogether.
It’s sobering to think that it’s possible to block the way to Jesus. To develop this thought, let me say something about how the way was blocked and how the way was cleared.
How the Way Was Blocked
To start, note that it was the disciples of Christ, not His enemies, who tried to keep the children from Him. They acted out of ignorance. Sometimes Christians so misunderstand Christ, they think there are some He hasn’t time for or is interested in.
Sometimes, the way to Christ is blocked by hypocrisy. Most children understand that grownups / their parents aren’t perfect and are willing to forgive their shortcomings. But when grownups / parents are egregiously sinful or wicked, while posturing under the façade of being a real Christian, the anger they can provoke in children—their own or others—can be so extreme and devastating as to forever poison the child against Christ and the church. I know adults who will not set foot in a church building because of the “Christians” they knew as children.
How the Way Was Cleared
Sometimes the news reports that miners have been trapped by a cave-in. When that happens, how is the way cleared? It’s done by the people on the surface digging down and the miners digging out. Both sides keep at it and keep at it until the way is cleared.
It needs to be remembered that no one can stop you from getting to Jesus if you really want to get to Jesus. Four men brought a paralyzed friend to see Christ, but due to the size of the crowd, the way was blocked. They got around the blockage by “raising the roof” (Luke 5:17-26)! They let nothing stop them from getting their friend to the Lord. On another occasion a blind man heard Jesus was passing by and cried out for mercy.
Then those who went before warned him that he should be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be brought to Him. And when he had come near, He asked him, saying, “What do you want Me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, that I may receive my sight.” Then Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he received his sight, and followed Him, glorifying God. (Luke 18:35-43)
No one can stop you from getting to Jesus if you really want to get to Jesus! Everyone can get to Christ if he or she wants to get to Christ badly enough.
When the way is blocked, be brave. Be brave for God. Don’t listen to those who would keep you from Jesus. If you keep at it and stick to it, your path to pure love, grace, and mercy will finally be cleared, and you will see the Lord face to face.