A couple of days ago, I was reading the tenth chapter of Mark in the Amplified Bible Version and was especially moved by verses 10:13-16.
People were bringing children to Him so that He would touch and bless them, but the disciples reprimanded them and discouraged them [from coming]. But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and He said to them, “Allow the children to come to Me; do not forbid them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I assure you and most solemnly say to you, whoever does not receive and welcome the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.” And He took the children [one by one] in His arms and [b]blessed them [with kind, encouraging words], placing His hands on them (Mark10:13-16).
I was struck by how the Amplified Bible version added: [spoke kind and encouraging words] to the word “blessed.” I started imagining the kind and encouraging words he might say as he put his arms around each child and gently took their hand or softly laid his hand on their head.
I looked up the original Greek word for bless, which is ευλογει and pronounced evlogei. This is what I found at biblegateway.com :
“The basic meaning of the Greek word here for blessed is to speak kindly of someone. Jesus was probably giving the children encouragement as only He could, with His infallible knowledge of each child’s future.”
Abiram Publications at abiram-publications.com
describes ευλογειin as follows:
“he was speaking well” (meaning Jesus)
“It’s a catch-all verb that covers expressing gratitude, praising, complimenting, supporting; all that (LUKE 1:64, 24:53, MARK 10:16). But our verb obviously means more than simply saying lofty words. Being “spoken well of” comes with tangible effects that entail bringing about a good thing (a good logos)” (or word) “ for somebody…”
I believe that it is very likely that Jesus was speaking specific things into the children’s future based on His intimate knowledge of them. He knew each one deeply. He knew their unduplicated design and individual calling. I believe His words carried love and power, and planted seeds that would propel them toward fulfilling their destiny.
If Jesus said that the kingdom of God belonged to those who receive it like a trusting, vulnerable, humble child, and felt it was imperative that we become like a child to enter into it, I believe that He is inviting us to allow Him to gather us up in His arms and bless us. Can you imagine all He would say to us about who He made us to be and the days and years ahead of us? He has so much knowledge about our unique personality and design. He likes us. He likes me and He likes you. We have all made mistakes but that does not affect who God says we are. Some of us have been through traumatic experiences but that does not reflect God’s value of us.
The bible says that God’s thoughts toward us “outnumber the grains of sand” Psalm 139:18. This leads me to believe that if He has so many thoughts toward us, He would also have a lot say to us, and it would be all wrapped in love because that is Who He Is. His blessing would be surrounded by hope because that is one of the gifts that His love brings. God defines love in 1 Corinthians 13 as “never giving up” and “always believing the best for others.”
My prayer is that we all slow down — and with trust and humility, hear what God has to say to us each day through His Word and His Spirit. Jesus always met humility with overwhelming kindness and compassion.
There is nothing to fear. He does not condemn us for any ways we fall short of loving ourselves and others, but offers us His hand and gives us daily expressions of His love, guidance, and the power to change where needed. Jesus never changes.
If Jesus spoke affirming and life-giving words to the children as He gathered them in His arms, why would he behave any differently toward us when we come to Him in the same child-like trusting and humble manner that He instructed us to receive His kingdom?
I believe that His invitation is always open to approach Him with trust and humility, laying down all fear, and receiving His blessing, love, power and personally tailored words of encouragement. No matter what your circumstance, he has great plans for you and loves you so much.
I am thinking of the verse: “Therefore the Lord waits [expectantly] and longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you… Isaiah 30:18 AMP
May you hear his kind and personalized words for you today through His Holy Spirit.
Please stay tuned, in the next week or two I want to share a personal story which relates to this topic.
God bless your day with joy and peace that passes all understanding!