My first writing project here in Thailand is to create a training for our foundations Child Protection Policy. As I have done research on the Biblical foundation for child protection these words came to mind.
A simple question was asked, but the answer the disciples received was not what they were expecting. “Who is the greatest in the Kingdom?” They looked to Jesus wit hopeful expressions waiting for Him to point them out as His best and most worthy disciple. Jesus, however, did not look to them but instead He called a child to come and stand before them. Jesus’ reply, “To be great…you must be like this child.”
A child loves for no reason. A child trust without cause, and faith is not something they must learn because it naturally flows from within. This innocence is who they are before the world has had a chance to sully them. He gives a harsh warning for anyone who does anything to steal this gift from a child. Cause a child to hate, to fear, to doubt and you are better off dead. Jesus charges us to do whatever we can to come against the sin in this world that corrupts the innocence even if it leaves us broken and wounded.
What we do for a child we do for God Himself. They are his proxy in this world. Love a child, you love Him. Bless a child, you bless Him. Protect a child, you have allied yourself with the God of the Universe.
Jesus warns us to not look down on a child and to not forget them. Whatever we are doing, the safety and welfare of a child takes precedence. Jesus says leave the 99 to find and save the one. Leave the important things that we are working on, and save the little one, help a child. If children should be our greatest priority why is it we so often see them as a something that gets in the way of ministry? Do we, like the disciples, push them aside and tell them to be quiet in our ministries and in our homes? Or do we simply forget to think about them at all?
To Jesus, children are not an after thought but very important to our work in the Kingdom. God’s plan for this world is not about an individual or a moment in time, but instead, His plan is about generations and eternity. Both God’s discipline and loving kindness carry to the generations that follow so we should not forget that all that we do impacts them.
(thoughts from Matthew 18: 1-14, Mark 10:13-16, Exodus 10:5-6 )