Jesus caused a scandal wherever he went. And if the events described by Matthew happened today, he'd be causing a scandal again. Matthew tells us that "He put his arms around the children, laid his hands upon them..."
But he hadn't been CRB checked. He was breaking all the Child Protection taboos. In our society, adults are actively discouraged from touching children. We are told that we can't be trusted to be caring, to be intimate, with children; we are scared off showing our care for lost or distressed youngsters for fear that our holding their hand or our kindly hugs might be misunderstood: and so our young ones grow up untouched by us, distanced from us physically and emotionally.
"He put his arms around the children, laid his hands upon them, and blessed them." - what right does he have to impose his religious beliefs on these innocents? That would be the cry today. How dare he presume to bless them: they should be left alone to find their own blessing in their own way and their own time.
So Jesus' behaviour is scandalous behaviour, now, just as it was at the time it actually happened. ....
- the start of my talk at a baptism in Lydford today, Jesus and the scandal of the children. I thought the topic might resonate in a week where events in our cities threw into focus our complex and troubled relationships with our young people.