Gateway to the Classics: The Way of the Gate by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey
 
The Way of the Gate by  Carolyn Sherwin Bailey

Jesus and the Children

The Boy from the carpenter's shop at Nazareth was grown to a Man now.

Every boy, when he is old enough to go out in the world, finds his own work to do. So Jesus had found His work, not to be a carpenter, but to teach. He knew more than any one else of that long-ago time about our Heavenly Father. So he went away from Nazareth to tell the people about God.

Every one looked forward to the coming of Jesus. Sometimes He would climb the hills and talk a while with the shepherds. Then He would be seen beside a roadside well, speaking kindly to a woman who came there for water. He went as far as the seashore and sat with the fishermen in their boats, telling them stories. They were very wonderful stories that Jesus told. No one had ever heard such wonderful stories. Great crowds of people followed Him. They went without food. They sat upon the ground to listen to Jesus. Sometimes thousands of people would come to listen to one of Jesus' stories.

He told them just those things that children like to hear now. His stories were about flowers, and trees, and animals, and farmers, and builders, and fishermen. He told in His stories about the loving care of our Heavenly Father for everything on the earth, even a little brown sparrow. And He said that there were mansions in the sky waiting for all, even poor fisher-folk, if only they were loving, and brave, and kind.

One day Jesus took His way to the city, Jerusalem, and a greater crowd than ever followed Him.


II

A crowd is not a very safe place for a child to be, and the road to Jerusalem was narrow. But some of the children had come because their mothers could not leave them at home. There they were, in a very great crowd and being pushed this way and that. They were a long way off from Jesus, and no one seemed willing to help them to come nearer.

Things might have gone very badly with the children; but, all at once, something happened. Jesus stopped in a pleasant, green place beside the road. A mother pushed her way toward Him with her child. She wanted Jesus to put His hand on the baby's head.

"Oh, you must not do that," said the disciples who traveled about with Jesus. "Our Master has no time to spend with children."

But Jesus heard them. He reached out His arms, and took the child in them. Then He spoke to the men and women who had been pushing the children back, saying,

"Suffer the little children to come unto me; forbid them not: for to such belongeth the kingdom of God."

And when Jesus had said this, He called all the children to come to Him. He laid His hands on their heads and blessed them.

That was the first Children's Day. The blue sky was the roof, and the trees were the walls of Jesus' church. The children were so close to Jesus that they could hear every word of the stories that He told. Until they grew to be old men and women, they could still feel the touch of His hands on their heads.

We are children of God.

—Romans viii. 16.


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