Mary remembered how her Son loved children. He was the oldest child so often had to look after His siblings. He never seemed to mind caring for them. He looked like a little shepherd, tending His sheep. He played with them, told them stories, sang songs with them, rocked them to sleep and made sure they stayed clear of danger. Now He was leading a whole flock of troubled sheep with His words of hope.
As the crowds grew with each passing day, Jesus had to retreat to the mountainside or the middle of a lake to preach to them. His voice was powerful enough to reach every ear, but He was becoming physically weary from the days of traveling and speaking. As he sat for one quiet moment, a crowd of young children came running to Him. His disciples, being concerned for their Master, tried to shoo them off, but Jesus wouldn’t have it.
He treasured each of those children and babies as if they were His own. He scolded His disciples for sending them away, saying, “Let the little children come to Me and do not hinder them! For the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, if anyone does not receive the kingdom of God like a little child, he will never enter it.”
It surprised the disciples to hear these words. How could anyone go to heaven without knowledge of the scriptures? How could one of these little ones enter heaven? They had so much to learn. They were nothing but an inconvenience and a bother. Mary knew that Jesus was talking about the faith of those children.
This is something we often lose as we grow older. We think we know more than God – that we can outwit Him or achieve our salvation with our good deeds alone. A child has a pure, accepting faith in the things we teach them. There is no questioning whatsoever.
Mary had a faith like that, when she accepted God’s plan for her life. She would admit, that it was not of herself, but a gift from the Holy Spirit. She was now beginning to comprehend the importance of that faith – for all things that God does are for our good, because He first loved us.
The little ones are like the flocks King David tended as a young lad. He would leave all of them to search for one who was lost. Jesus came to seek those who are lost – not just physically lost, but mentally and spiritually. He will do whatever it takes to find them, to take them in His arms and hug them close to His breast. Jesus loves children as a shepherd loves his sheep.
We all have from time to time strayed from our Shepherd, but He never gives up on us. Mary knew that her Son, Jesus, had a special purpose in His life. She wasn’t yet aware of the cost, but she was inwardly preparing for it as she watched and heard her boy. His compassion for all humanity was apparent