Kings, presidents, governors, and chief executives are generally inaccessible. They’re guarded by security, surrounded by underlings, separated from the common rabble and riffraff.
What would happen if I travelled to Washington D.C. and rang the doorbell at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue? As you know, I wouldn’t get through the iron gates at the curb. The President isn’t available. He’s unapproachable.
The Persian king, Ahasuerus, a.k.a. Xerxes, was unapproachable. “All the royal officials and the people of the royal provinces know that one law applies to every man or woman who approaches the king in the inner courtyard and who has not been summoned—the death penalty—unless the king extends the gold scepter, allowing that person to live” (Esther 4:11). That law even applied to Queen Esther! Xerxes was unreachable.
Jesus wasn’t. As Jesus passed through one town, “a large crowd was following and pressing against him” (Mark 5:24). They pressed against Him. He was accessible, available, approachable.
On another occasion, “people were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me. Don’t stop them’ ” (Mark 10:13-14).
Dr. Luke reports that the crowds “were bringing infants to him so that he might touch them” (Luke 18:15) and Matthew adds “little children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray” (Matthew 19:13). Mark adds, “after taking them in his arms, he laid his hands on them and blessed them” (Mark 10:16).
All three Synoptic Gospels report that the Apostles jealously guarded the Savior like the Secret Service guards the President. They didn’t want the crowds getting too close. They refused to allow the children to distract from Jesus’ more important ministry duties. “The disciples rebuked” the crowds (Mark 10:13).
Jesus is the King of kings, but he is an approachable King! He’s available. He welcomes us into His presence. Unlike Xerxes, we can come into the throne room at any time. He has an open-door policy. He invites us! “We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in every way as we are, yet without sin. Therefore, let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need” (Hebrews 4:15–16).
“Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28–29).
Like the little children, Jesus will take us in His loving arms… not because we’re worthy, but because He’s gracious. One day, as we take our first steps into Heaven, He’ll welcome us, embrace us, and with a gentle hand, “He will wipe away every tear!” (Revelation 21:4). That’s grace!