Let the little children come to me

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Recent high profile trials and reports have highlighted the horrifying extent of the sexual abuse of children and teenagers in Britain over the past 50 years.

High profile celebrities, and gangs of men and women, have committed heinous crimes against hundreds of children. When those who have been abused spoke up they were not believed or were even blamed for what had happened to them. Time and again no-one took any action against the abusers who were, therefore, free to continue in their wicked ways. Some serial abusers have died before their crimes were uncovered and are thought to have “got away with it.”

The Bible teaches that children are very precious and must be protected. Children were very important to Jesus. On one occasion mothers brought their children to Jesus, but his disciples tried to send them away. When Jesus saw it he was indignant and said, “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, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” Then he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.

On another occasion the disciples asked Jesus “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Jesus called a little child to him and said, “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. So anyone who becomes as humble as this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.” Then he added, “If anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”

Children must be zealously guarded from predatory paedophiles and all who would seek to harm them. We all must learn to have simple childlike trust in God, who has revealed his love for us in Jesus. William Walsham How’s hymn says it all: “It is a thing most wonderful, almost too wonderful to be, that God’ own Son should come from heaven, and die to save a child like me.”