When Jesus tells the disciples that someone will betray him and that he will be killed (Mark 9), they are confused by this message. Fearing being rebuked like Peter was, they do not ask questions that may reveal their ignorance of who Jesus really is. So, Jesus tries to teach them through an example of an innocent, vulnerable child. “Whoever welcomes this child welcomes me and welcomes the one who sent me.”
Jesus portrayed that the marginalized and discarded were the truly great ones, the ones who were to be loved, welcomed and cared for. He understood his beliefs made him a threat to some, and that because of this, they would work to silence him.
Pastor Beth reminded us that living out this welcoming, merciful love of God is risky business and often takes us outside of our comfort zone. But we are like the disciples if we do not reach out and ask, “Do I understand who Jesus really is?”
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