but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” -Matthew 19:14
James Emery White offers up some fantastic insights on the joy and privilege it is to serve children in ministry. It is near and dear to the heart of God himself. Check it out for yourself HERE. Here’s a small sample:
In the Greco-Roman world, you could literally throw children away. Infanticide was not a crime. If you had a child you didn’t want, you just put them out on the street. There was an entire cottage industry where people would go down the streets to find these abandoned, exposed, unprotected children, and then take them to raise them to either fight in the arenas as gladiators or sell their bodies as prostitutes.
If neither of those prospects worked, they would physically disfigure them – break a leg, cut off an arm, scar their face – so that they could become professional beggars preying off of people’s pity. They were so mistreated that six out of every ten children died before the age of 16.
So while we don’t know the real reason the disciples didn’t want to let the children come, we do know one thing:
Jesus wanted them to.