Behold, children are a gift of the Lord. Psalm 127:3 (NASB)  

Jesus took a little child and put it among them, and taking it in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.” Mark 9:36-37  

The Psalmist speaks of children as a gift, in some translations an inheritance. They are a way that people touch the future. In the context of the rest of the Psalm, children are one more way that God shows favor to His people, and promises them they will continue on into the future.  

In Jesus’ time children were not considered very important, not like adults. In Mark we see Jesus entering a home in Capernaum, some think it was Peter and Andrew’s house. The disciples are busy squabbling over who among them is most important, who has the most status. Jesus tells them that is not the point. He takes a nearby child, a little child, and brings this insignificant child and puts it among the disciples. He even takes the child in His arms – maybe onto His lap. Then Jesus lets the disciples know that they need to welcome children, because they are then welcoming Jesus and God.  

The disciples are to receive humble people, and encourage humble believers. Showing respect to all people is showing respect to Jesus and thereby to God. Jesus receives children, those full of simplicity, innocence and humbleness. In the verse this is shown literally in His embracing the child, and also symbolically in acceptance of those who are humble like little children. We are all children of our Heavenly Father. 

Children of the heavenly father 

Safely in his bosom gather 

Nestling bird nor star in heaven 

Such a refuge e’er was given.  


God, His own doth tend and nourish 

In His holy courts they flourish 

From all evil things He spares them 

In His mighty arms he bears them.  

Kind Savior, you care for children and all those people others have excluded You hold them close and feel their joys and fears. Remind us that we are still children in your arms. Lord, the sounds of new life in our churches and families bring us joy and the weight of responsibility. Help us to welcome all of your children into our hearts as you welcome us into your heart.   Amen  

Chris Gabel