Jesus and his disciples left from there and began a journey through Galilee, but he did not wish anyone to know about it. He was teaching his disciples and telling them, “The Son of Man is to be handed over to men and they will kill him, and three days after his death the Son of Man will rise.” But they did not understand the saying, and they were afraid to question him. They came to Capernaum and, once inside the house, he began to ask them, “What were you arguing about on the way?” But they remained silent. They had been discussing among themselves on the way who was the greatest. Then he sat down, called the Twelve, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.” Taking a child, he placed it in their midst, and putting his arms around it, he said to them, “Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but the One who sent me.”
I think that we’d all probably agree that babies are Inherently Beautiful – as are puppies, kittens, and pretty much any baby-version of most species. It’s like God has “hard-wired” all of us to love babies. And, it’s not just kids, teens, adults, and/or seniors that love babies. Babies also love other babies. If you’ve ever witnessed the incredible encounter between two toddlers (who may have been fussing previously) who stop everything that they are doing to “toddle” and “goo, gah, and smile” at another baby, you know what I mean. Or, if you have ever seen a baby see its own reflection and stare in just utter fascination of this new baby looking right back at them, you know what I mean. It’s like the two, long-lost toddler just left Heaven together before entering our world and are now so happy to see that they both have landed in the same, exact zip code!? It’s like their old Friends. It’s just the way it is. And, like most things Scriptural, it’s no coincidence that Jesus came to our world in the form of a baby. Again, we all love to see the little baby Jesus in the Nativity scenes each year at Christmas and Advent. Jesus could have just showed-up as an adult. He didn’t have to arrive as a baby. He could have been a man when He arrived (or, a teenager, senior, etc.). When we receive Christ and His other babies (you, me, and the milkman) like that way that Jesus is hugging this child, we are receiving Him. Like the toddler that you witnessed running to openly-embrace the other toddler that they’ve probably never seen in this world before, we are to embrace each other “metaphorically” in the same way – differences or not. I heard a small-town Preacher recently say that, “If it weren’t for Church, I would probably only surround myself with folks like me.” Wherever our “toddles” take us in life, we should be sure to do our best to love God’s other babies the way that He does. That sure puts us in the most Special Company.