Then Jesus took a small child. Jesus stood the child before the followers. Jesus held the child in his arms and said, "If a person accepts children like these in my name, then that person is also accepting me. And if a person accepts me, then that person is also accepting the One (God) that sent me."
— Mark 9:36-37
How we treat those from whom we can receive no status determines our heart. In Jesus' day, children were not held to be overly important in the social pecking order. In many ways, that is still true today—notice how day-care workers and teachers are still among the lowest paid professional workers in many modern countries. So Jesus reminds his followers that the way they welcome, treat, and value children reveals a great deal about their hearts. What does it say about our own?
Father, thank you for challenging me to value people whom others neglect, devalue, and overlook. Help me follow through on my conviction to love all people, especially those from whom I can receive no monetary, status, or power benefit. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Today's Verses in Context
Then Jesus and his followers left that place. They went through Galilee. Jesus did not want the people to know where they were. Jesus wanted to teach his followers alone. Jesus said to them, "The Son of Man will be given to people that will kill him. After three days, he will rise from death." But the followers did not understand what Jesus meant. And they were afraid to ask him what he meant. Jesus and his followers went to Capernaum. They went into a house. Then Jesus said to his followers, "I heard you arguing on the road today. What were you arguing about?" But the followers did not answer, because their argument on the road was about which one of them was the greatest. Jesus sat down and called the twelve apostles to him. Jesus said, "If any person wants to be the most important, then he must make all other people more important than himself. That person must serve all other people." Then Jesus took a small child. Jesus stood the child before the followers. Jesus held the child in his arms and said, "If a person accepts children like these in my name, then that person is also accepting me. And if a person accepts me, then that person is also accepting the One (God) that sent me."
Related Scripture Readings
People brought their small children to Jesus, so that Jesus could touch them. But the followers told the people to stop bringing their children to Jesus. Jesus saw what happened. He did not like his followers telling the children not to come. Jesus said to them, "Let the little children come to me. Don't stop them, because the kingdom of God belongs to people that are like these little children. I tell you the truth. You must accept the kingdom of God like a little child accepts things, or you will never enter it." Then Jesus held the children in his arms. Jesus put his hands on them and blessed them.
Fathers, don't make your children angry. But raise your children with the training and teaching of the Lord.
Some blind people and some crippled people came to Jesus in the temple area. Jesus healed these people. The leading priests and the teachers of the law saw what Jesus did. They saw that Jesus was doing great things and saw the children praising Jesus in the temple area. The children were saying, "Praise to the Son of David. " All these things made the priests and the teachers of the law angry. The leading priests and the teachers of the law asked Jesus, "Do you hear the things these children are saying?" Jesus answered, "Yes. The Scripture says, 'You (God) have taught children and babies to give praise.' Have you not read that Scripture?"