Jesus rose up immediately, turned his head toward Jericho and Jerusalem; toward the enemies that were plotting his death; toward all the struggle and agony that lay ahead of him; but in his heart, he held the memory of the happy care-free faces of these "littlest ones" through which His Father's "kingdom of love" was to be built the world around. A persons' character is revealed in the way he treats children. Of course we are all to come to Him as little children, of such is the kingdom. The little ones may apply to the choldren but the point applies to all who are powerless. God is the champion of those who cannot help themselves and those that take advantage of the children of God and abuse helpless people will have to deal with Him.

A numerous offspring was regarded as a signal blessing, and childless wives sought various means to escape the reproach of barrenness. A new born child was washed, rubbed with salt, and wrapped in swaddling clothes. On the 8th day, he was circumcised and named. At his weaning a feast was often made. The nurse of a female child was often with her through life. Children were to be instructed with diligence and care. They were required to honor and obey their parents, and were subject to their father's control in all things.

The first born son received, besides other privileges, two portions of his father's estate, the other sons, one portion each. The sons of concubines received presents, and sometimes an equal portion. The daughters received no portion unless there were no brothers.

In first century Palestinian culture, older people were revered. The Jews loved their children but were often considered to be of lesser value than adults. Daughters were even considered more inferior than the male offspring. Jesus changed all that. The Master welcomed boys and girls, He healed them, He blessed them, He allowed them to come to Him and He used them as an example for adults. "Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not, for such is the kingdom of God. Verily, I say unto you, whoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein."

According to Catherine Langevin-Falcon, executive director of UNICEF in 1998, "Today, the United States and Somalia are the only two countries in the world which haven't ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. And since Somalia is a country with no internationally recognized government, the United States essentially stands alone as the last holdout to legally guarantee children the same full range of human rights ... agreed to by 191 other sovereign states."

After the Colorado school shootings, President Clinton urged young people not to resort to violence saying that "We must teach our children ... to resolve their conflicts with words, not weapons." At the same time, he continued NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, killing thousands of innocent civilians, including children.
[347, 380, 415]

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