Have you ever struggled with a new device? And then a child comes along and knows exactly what to do...
“Jesus, aren’t you ready for a break yet?” Nathaniel asked, looking around for a place to sit.
“A break from what, Nathaniel? Doing what I came to do?” Jesus said, winking at a small, round face peeking around the corner of the room.
“Don’t you see all the people trying to crowd in here?” Philip asked, trying to block the doorway.
“Guys, guys! Give it a rest, will you? These people aren’t here to hurt me.”
“Master, the Pharisees who just tried to trip you up probably aren’t even out of the courtyard yet. You know Herod is running the show here. Have you forgotten all the upheaval your cousin, John the Baptist, caused with pretty much everyone who had any power, like Herod? And look at what happened to him.” Peter paced the room like he was addressing troops before a battle.
“Peter! I know far better than you about subversion and plans for evil,” Jesus said through clenched teeth, then stood so abruptly the bench he was sitting on crashed to the floor.
“Teacher, we don’t understand why we seem to constantly move between conflict and full-on danger. Do you remember where we came from? Some days it’s hard to see the point of all this…Jesus, are you listening?” John said, gently touching the Teacher’s sleeve.
“How about this: you fellows take a break, get a bite to eat. I’m going to hang out here for a little while chatting with folks, then I’ll try to explain to you again,” Jesus said to his group of followers, then bent down to wave at the face still peaking around the corner.
Amid mumbling and head wagging, some of the men headed outside. A handful were looking over the humble buffet the homeowners had put out, while the others crashed wherever they could find a seat. As followers went outside, neighbors pushed their way in.
“Mom! The man winked at me, then waved at me,” a small voice exploded as his mom scooped him up from the doorway and made her way to where Jesus sat.
“Sir,” she whispered, “we’ve heard stories of the amazing things you’ve done.” She paused and looked over her shoulder. Still holding her squirming son, she whispered, “Would you mind blessing my boy? Is that too much to ask?”
“Daughter, our heavenly Father sees your faith. He loves you the same way you love your child. It would be a pleasure to bless this little guy!” Jesus grinned, putting one hand on the boy’s head, and the other on the mother’s.
As mother and child were leaving, the boy broke loose and ran to Jesus for a high five. Jesus laughed out loud.
The sound of laughter drew more people into the already crowded room. Whispers of Jesus blessing the boy caused parents to peel clinging kids from their cloaks and robes, and lift them up in their arms.
“Teacher, bless my child too!”
“Jesus, my daughter is ill. Bless her!”
“Master, will you bless my son too?”
Coming back into the room, Simon and Judas muscled their way through the people just as Matthew and Philip left their seats to move toward Jesus.
“People, give Jesus some room! And get those kids outta here. What are you thinking, bringing them in here to see the Master?” Peter rumbled like thunder from behind Jesus.
Quickly standing with a back like a ramrod and a voice like iron, Jesus said, “No, Peter! Men of God, stand down! What are you thinking! Let the kids come to me, all of them. Don’t ever get between me and them again, do you understand? Kids are the ones who get it, they really get it. They know who to trust and how to love, can’t you see that? Unless you can do the same, you’ll never enter the Kingdom.”
The room was silent as a stone…until tiny fingers tugged on Jesus’s hand. Parents gasped. Followers of Jesus tried to fade into walls.
“Jesus, that was funny!” she giggled. “You made those big, loud men scared. I’m not scared, Jesus. I saw you smile too. Can I have a hug now?”
Jesus grinned all over his face as his new friend jumped into his lap while parents and followers watched with eyes wide with amazement and laughter seeping past their lips.