The picture of Jesus sitting with small children around Him is a staple in most churches and Sunday Schools. What is often overlooked is the context of the passage in which Jesus invites the children to come to Him. Matthew’s Gospel states, “Then little children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked those who brought them.” (Matthew 19:13) Mark’s Gospel further states, “When Jesus saw this He was indignant…” (Mark 10:14).
Jesus was the centerpiece in the lives of the disciples. They saw Him as the Messiah – the Promised One from God. They sat at His feet to hear His instruction. They witnessed the miracles and managed the crowds that gathered around Him.
As Jesus’ popularity grew so also did the feeling on the part of the disciples to best manage His time. Babies and children became of less importance to them – after all, what could infants and toddlers do for the needs of the ministry at that exact time? They were wrong, and Jesus pointed that out.
We also witness the same attitude towards the disabled. The crowds did not part for the lame man who sought an audience with the Master so his friends had to lower him through the roof to meet Jesus. The lepers, the outcasts during Jesus’ time on earth, were often left to beg for help from those who passed at a distance.
Yet, the Master’s attitude about the children was that they had a place in His presence. The disabled and dying were also the objects of His love and attention.
All of this came to mind when I read another troubling article in The Salon entitled, “So What if Abortion Ends Life?” Abortion-rights advocate Mary Elizabeth Williams wrote:
Here’s the complicated reality in which we live: All life is not equal. That’s a difficult thing for liberals like me to talk about, lest we wind up looking like death-panel-loving, kill-your-grandma-and-your-precious-baby storm troopers. Yet a fetus can be a human life without having the same rights as the woman in whose body it resides. She’s the boss. Her life and what is right for her circumstances and her health should automatically trump the rights of the non-autonomous entity inside of her. Always.
The subjective wishy-washy logic provided by Williams begs the following, “If the mother is so messed up that the life of another person (yes, Williams acknowledges that the unborn child is a person) must be terminated for the good of all, why not terminate the mother’s life? On what basis does the life of the abortion-minded mother trump the life of the child maturing in her womb when the child arguably shows greater potential for a better and more productive life than the mother has shown thus far?
If one is willing to acknowledge the existence of life and to then apply a subjective standard of “worthiness” for its continuance, then shouldn’t all lives be on the table? If we buy into this warped logic, then what possible potential is there for a woman who can’t figure out that sexual intercourse can lead to a pregnancy; who can’t follow instructions for the use of birth control which its proponents claim can be nearly 100% effective (if used properly); who perhaps has already aborted once because of this situation (nearly half of all abortions are performed on women who have already had one) and still hasn’t figured out how to stay out of this predicament; who is in such a financial mess that someone must die to get through it; can we be serious in suggesting the unborn life with its automatic restart on life (i.e., can do so much better with the first 20 years of life than what the mother has done) is of less value than the mother?
The moment we pick our favorite lives, all lives are at risk – even the life of the mother who wants to exercise her right to kill.