Kids say and do the darndest things! They just seem to have a perspective on life that is outside the planetary alignment from adults. Unlike most starchy grown-ups, young children say precisely what they think and do exactly what they want; this often rattles the boundaries of adults. Videos of their unanticipated cute remarks and adorable mannerisms go viral on YouTube as fast as the Road Runner in the desert. The reason for this is that most grown-ups still long to be as honest and carefree as children are again. Part of us wishes we could be the one saying those cute things.
In general, children are much better at enjoying life than adults. Their laughter is contagious and their smiles can soften even the hardest of hearts. They certainly melt mine. I have to admit that when it comes to kids, I am a total ‘softie.’ It is as if I have the word ‘SUCKER’ written on my forehead which is invisible to adults and only children can read. Though I stink at saying no to them, I derive much joy being around kids and love watching how they enjoy life.
Jesus also loved being with children. The song reminds us, ‘Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world.’ So do photos of Him sitting with children on His lap. I do not even have to post one of those pictures here, since most of us already have a mental picture anyway. In the familiar passage in Matthew 19, the disciples wanted young ones to leave Jesus alone; their thinking was that He did not need to be bothered. Instead, He welcomed them to come near with open arms. The song and photos remind us, and though the message may be overused, it is nonetheless true that Jesus does love all the little children.
Jesus very willingly gave children top billing by allowing them near Him and high scores for their trusting attitudes. They were welcome to sit on His lap and to hear what He had to say. Once His followers finally realized that they were not a bother but that Jesus wanted children to come near, they dropped the discussion. The kids would stay!
Children were all welcome and able to be around Jesus not only because of His love, but also due to the purity of His message and the trustworthiness of His character. He never minced His words, but spoke openly with both young and old around because the messages were always upright and intended for all.
When I created my WordPress account to begin blogging, I had to configure the settings to reflect the appropriateness of my writing content for particular audiences:
|Maximum Rating G — Suitable for all audiences
PG — Possibly offensive, usually for audiences 13 and above
R — Intended for adult audiences above 17
X — Even more mature than above
As the sole author and administrator of my site, I was the one who decided what type of rating to use. An honor system is inherent to this self-scoring, because what might be deemed appropriate by one will not necessarily be for another. For instance, some may think profanity is perfectly fine for ‘PG’ followers whereas plenty others would shun foul language for the same. The list certainly goes on in terms of subjectivity for content appropriateness using a rating scale such as the one above.
Both by what He spoke and did, Jesus demonstrated that His life and messages were flawlessly honorable and highly suitable for any audiences. If using the rating criteria above, He would score as ‘G’ rated but this level does not seem to fit precisely. Another category which more accurately aligns with the suitability of Christ’s messages and content is ‘E’ for everyone. He never had to filter what He said, to screen for any inappropriate activities, or to block little children from being around Him. Everyone was His appropriate audience; all are His desired followers.
Though they are at times very silly, Jesus never excluded little children from coming to Him. He loves all the little ones and all the cute little things they say and do. Thankfully, He loves us starchy grown-ups, too, and everyone else in-between. If Christ had a blog, He would likely mark His ratings panel as ‘E’ for EVERYONE. Then, He would further define this intended audience by using an arrow that points directly to John 3:16.
“For God so loved the WORLD (EVERYONE) that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”