The Child In The Midst

Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:2

The child preached the sermon. It said to those ambitious disciples, “Shame on all you quarrelling about prominence and high places. Look at me. I am much higher up in the kingdom of heaven than you. You must get clear of all your proud thoughts and become lowly and simple-minded and childlike, or in the new kingdom you will have no place at all, much less a high place.” Little children are all preaching sermons to us, if only we have ears to hear. Children, in their innocence, their simplicity, their naturalness, their sweetness of soul, wherever they go exert an influence upon other lives which no words can describe. They are at once the greatest preachers and themselves the most eloquent sermons.

This picture of Jesus with the little one in His arms is very beautiful. In all the Bible there is scarcely another which so well represents the attitude both of the soul and of the Saviour in salvation and in all Christian life. Jesus takes the child in His arms: there is love, tenderness, protection. The bosom is the place of warmth, of affection, of intimacy, of confidence. The encircling arms imply safety, support, shelter. He lifted up the child and held it in His arms; so He carries His people through this world: He does not merely tell them how to go, but He takes them on His shoulders, carrying not their burdens only, but themselves. Thus He bears them on through life and through death.

Then look at the picture the other way — the child in the Saviour’s arms. Its attitude speaks of trust, confidence, repose, peace, love, joy, — just the feelings which belong to the true Christian. What a place the bosom of Christ is in danger, in storm, in sorrow, in death! Shall we not learn just to nestle in our Saviour’s arms in all our experiences?