13 And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. 14 But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God 15 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. — Mark 10:13-15, KJV
I am so thankful for the King James Version of the Bible, for it was the version the LORD used to cause me to start reading and loving His Word when I was in the Southern Baptist Church in a small community about 45 years ago! There were many words in there that I did not properly understand, such as “suffer.” I only knew it to be a negative word, and didn’t want to do any more suffering than I had to.
However, I’ve since learned that “suffer” also means “let.” Thus, when Jesus says to “suffer the little children to come to (Him), He means to let them, to not hinder them, to not discourage them, and, I truly believe, to purposely encourage them to follow Him and to be examples of disciples of Christ.
As a teacher, it is natural for me to encourage children, and I am working at being a better example of Christ daily, so that they will be drawn to Him.
Children are not just leaders of the future; they are leaders now, and their pure spirits can easily receive the higher things of God. Let us be living letters of the love of Christ for them to read and understand–and to go and do likewise!