Jesus & Little Children
The incident in Mark 10:13-16 and its synoptic counterparts have been misused to prove a lot of things that it does not.
For example, while it reflects on infant baptism, it does not teach it. But for whatever it does not teach, two things can be said with certainty. It was a real incident and not simply a parable. It involved Jesus in the flesh, real babies, and everything you know about babies and little children.
Furthermore, it is clear from the text that Jesus couldn’t stand to see these babies prohibited from receiving his blessing.
If we set aside the false euphoric portrayals of this scene that we may have gotten from Vacation Bible School, of children from diverse nations standing, in their native costumes, with beaming faces, around a brown-haired, blue-eyed Jesus, then we can more accurately imagine that which was more likely, which was a skirmish of mid-Eastern women against a handful of equally determined fishermen.
Perhaps a few of the infants were screaming their lungs out as they looked into the face of a man who was not their daddy.
On top of it all, there was this young Rabbi who became justly indignant with his disciples for trying in the way they thought best to bring discipline and order into the situation.
When imagining this scene, can you picture a frustrated Jesus telling one or two of the women that their children could not be blessed today because they were crying or unruly?
I can’t. For Jesus to exclude the babies would be contrary to what he had just told his disciples.