I’m sure you don’t know me. But when you read this you’ll remember. I have been blessed. The story I am about to tell you is what I told my grand-children some months ago. You are probably reading this in another century. I hope the story blesses you and makes you acknowledge the greatest blessing of all.
I was six years old. This very morning I had helped Mother cover my baby sister with a shawl after breakfast. I had also helped stack the breakfast plates against the wall. I had wanted to follow Father to tend to our sheep and chickens but he said I should stay home. He wanted to visit one of the Elders. There was a lot of stories going round town. Dad told us at supper the previous night of a man who healed Henrik the cripple. This man had healed numerous crippled men. He had healed blind men and all manner of sick people. Many people were happy that such things were happening. We had all been waiting for a Messiah to deliver us from the dominant hand of the Romans. Prominent officials felt He was just arousing attention to Himself and causing unnecessary distractions in the society. Besides, He claimed that He was from God. So the Jewish leaders were looking into His case. Father was a Scribe. He had just joined a popular sect and important events were chronicled. The Elder he went to visit would give him adequate information.
Mother later told me to run along to play when she wanted to tidy our little house. I ran down the road till I got to the heart of the town. Under the fig tree were my friends. This was our usual meeting spot every morning.
We played till noon and we realized a crowd gathered at a distance. We ran to join them. That’s when I saw Him for the first time. My friends and I squeezed in between the adults and pushed our way to the front. He sat on a large stone under a sycamore tree. He was teaching the people. He was saying something about a tax collector and a Pharisee. I wasn’t following what He was saying. This was the man called Jesus. My friends and I were stopped by a young man with a thick mustache. His friend called him Simon and he told us to sit and not go near Jesus. Well, we maneuvered and sat quite close to him anyway.
He looked so simple like any random man but there was something about His countenance. He had soft eyes and His voice was so gentle, yet strong. He spoke so lovingly yet authoritatively. Everyone was quiet. Believe me, if you had been there, you would have hung on to every word. Then something happened.
Little Yosef was sitting on his mother’s lap. He crawled out and toddled over to where Jesus was speaking. Elizabeth, his five year old sister got up and reached for her brother but the most startling thing happened. Jesus picked up little Yosef and placed him on His lap. He smiled at Elizabeth and carried her too. Their Mother didn’t know what to do. She just smiled at Jesus. Then Jesus looked our way and smiled. We stood and ran to him. Simon and some of his friends, the disciples, were trying to restrain other children. I will never forget the words He spoke then. He said “Suffer not the little children to come unto me, for of such is the kingdom of God.” He put little Yosef down and carried us too. Then He put his hand on our heads and blessed us. His smile was so warm. Here was a man who so lovingly carried us and gave us attention. I’m sure you understand that such a person would have been every child’s hero.
That moment was so special to me. I knew He wouldn’t be able to touch every child in Jerusalem, but He blessed me. Though I was so young, I knew that would be a moment I would forever live to remember. I may have been a random boy to those gathered that day, but I knew that moment would distinguish me forever. I’m sure you may have read the Bible over and over but you would never had wondered what happened to those children Jesus blessed that day. I was one of them.
It would surprise you to know I never came as close to Jesus after that day. But I will never forget how those hands turned things around for me. I knew right then that He was the Saviour. I believed, though my parents still doubted. When he was crucified a year later, it was a shock to some and a cause for celebration for others. His disciples began to speak about Him and I believed on Him. I later grew to become a Scribe. I met Paul, whose conversion was nothing short of a miracle. My adult life has been a blessing. I have a wonderful family. Though, we went through persecution, but the Lord was with us. He spared my life to see my grandchildren.
Now you know me. I am that boy who was blessed by Jesus of Nazareth long ago, on that blessed day when others thought we were nothing more than a disturbance. You may not have met the Saviour in person, but undoubtedly, you’ve read about Him. The amazing thing is that He blesses as much as he did then, even today. All you need to do is believe. No encounter could be more life transforming. I told my grandchildren to know and believe Him right from their tender age like I did. Jesus wants them to come. He is constantly inviting them. My friends and I did all we could to get close to Him, they too should strive to know Him. He won’t chase them away. He will smile and carry them. That encounter was a great blessing. You can have one too.