Caring for children.
It is very easy to value children more for what they can become, rather than for what they are in themselves. Children may be seen as a bit of a burden from the time they are born, until the time when they can be useful. This is how children were viewed in the time of Jesus. What Jesus said about children and his attitude to them was, therefore, very revolutionary in his time.
Read Mark 9:33-37 The Greek word used in the New Testament for child is also used for servant or even slave. Children were, therefore, seen as similar in social status to servants or slaves. In this story, Jesus uses a child as a visual aid to teach his disciples.
- How did Jesus treat the child that he used as a visual aid? What would the child have felt when Jesus took him in his arms?
- The disciples had been arguing about who was the greatest. What did Jesus mean them to understand by ‘welcoming a child in his name’?
- Who did Jesus say would be the greatest or first in his kingdom? How can we respond to this in a world where so many are in need?
- How can we welcome children in the name of Jesus in our community?
Dewi Hughes is Tearfund’s Theological advisor.