Ragamuffin Reflections From Brennan Manning

Day 8 of 10 • This day’s reading

Devotional

Jesus and the Children



It is unimaginable to picture a wooden faced, stoic, joyless and judgmental Jesus as he reclined with ragamuffins. The human personality of Jesus is underrated when it is perceived as a passive mask for the dramatic speeches of divinity. Such timidity robs Jesus of his humanity, encases him in plaster of paris and concludes that he neither laughed, cried, smiled, nor got hurt but simply passed through our world without emotional engagement.



Mark records that a group of parents, who obviously sensed something of God’s love in Jesus, wanted him to bless their little ones. The irritated disciples, fatigued by the long day’s journey on foot from Capernaum to the district of Judea and the far side of the Jordan, attempted to shoo away the children. Jesus became visibly upset and silenced the Twelve with a withering glance. Mark notes carefully that Jesus picked them up one by one, cradled them and gave each of them his blessing.



My friend Robert Frost comments: “I am so glad Jesus didn’t suggest they group all the children together for a sort of general blessing because he was tired. Instead He took time to hold each child close to his heart and to earnestly pray for them all … they then joyfully scampered off to bed.”