feeling or showing anger or annoyance at what is perceived as unfair treatment.
"he was indignant at being the object of suspicion"
synonyms: aggrieved, resentful, affronted, disgruntled, displeased, cross, angry, mad, annoyed, offended, exasperated, irritated, piqued, nettled, in high dudgeon, chagrined; informal: peeved, vexed, irked, put out, miffed, aggravated, riled, in a huff, huffy, ticked off, sore
"after the shabby way you've treated me, why shouldn't I be indignant?"
What did Yeshua (Jesus) see that made him feel like all these adjectives? Who left him feeling indignant? I mean, that's pretty strong, right? Had to be the money lenders cheating people in the Temple, of course. Or maybe those ol' Pharisees were up to their shenanigans again. Nope, the context of the above statement is this situation found in three of the four gospels -- here it is in Mark's account:
"And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, 'Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.' And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them." (Mark 10:13-16 [ESV])
So...was Yeshua indignant with those that were bringing the children to him? No. He was indignant with the ones who were rebuking those who were bringing the little children to him. Yeshua was indignant with his disciples! He was offended at his followers. He was ticked at his talmidim. He was aggrieved with his adherants. He was in "high dudgeon" with those who were learning to walk his walk and talk his talk! No wonder he was more than just mildly put out.
The whole idea of a disciple is to be someone who totally submits to the authority of the teacher, or in this case, the rabbi. As such, many disciples would not only submit to learning Scripture as the rabbi taught it, but would seek to emulate the very life of the rabbi. The disciples of Yeshua would have been no different. We should be no different. As disciples of Messiah, it does us well to emulate the very life of our Messiah. And if a disciple is emulating their rabbi, they would, by extension, become a representation of that rabbi to the next generation of disciples, and to the culture around them. These disciples were essentially the face of Yeshua--just as we are today as followers of him. So, here are the representatives of Yeshua rebuking people from bringing little children to Yeshua. What would then be the impression of Yeshua by these people? Uh-huh. Again, no wonder he was more than a bit agitated. Yeshua's disciples were literally making him look bad.
Why? Well, I am sure that there were probably plenty of rabbis that would have had no time or patience for small children. Perhaps the disciples made that assumption about Yeshua. This would also explain his indignation -- they were his followers, but they didn't know him! They should have probably known by now that he was far different than the other rabbis. They should have realized that as a perfect follower of Torah, he would have welcomed children to himself (more on why shortly.) They should have known him far better if they were truly trying to learn from him and emulate him. Then they would never have dreamed of misrepresenting him by rebuking folks from bringing little children to him.
Yeshua Messiah (Jesus Christ) desired then, and desires now, to touch the lives of little children. And the main ones who got in the way of that, and who still get in the way of that now, were and are his disciples. Again, the ones who are supposed to be like him. He had every reason and right to be indignant. We should be indignant as well. Especially at ourselves when we as Yeshua's disciples hinder children from coming to him. And there are so many ways that we as the disciples of Messiah hinder children from having their lives be fully touched by the Savior. How can that be? Because we as disciples hinder our own selves from coming fully to Yeshua to be touched by him and be intimate with him. That is why another scripture in the Word brings up the concept of "hinder" as well:
"Therefore, having so vast a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, and throwing off everything that hinders us and especially the sin that so easily entangles us..." (Hebrews 12:a [ISV])
Yep. We who call ourselves disciples of the Messiah hinder our children from coming to him because we ourselves are hindered in our walk with him. Clearly his disciples at the time were hindered -- hindered from a better understanding of who Yeshua was and what Scripture said. In order for the children to be unhindered, the disciples had to be unhindered. WE need to live our lives unhindered for our Savior. That is the crux and core of this blog -- how to lead children undhindered to Messiah by living unhindered for Messiah.
This is so important to grasp. We cannot disappoint our Messiah when it comes to leading children to him. Hindering them from doing so is enough to make Yeshua downright furious with us. Why? Because the Kingdom of God belongs to such as them! With all the other reasons I gave for why Yeshua would have been indignant, this is the one that he himself gave for why he was indignant. "Don't stop these children from coming to me, because I am the way to the Kingdom of God, and the Kingdom belongs to them!!" Is that what Yeshua is basically saying? That's God's Kingdom belongs to them?? No, no no, he was saying that it belongs to those who come to him as a child, right?. Yes, he did say that, and that is true--we need to come to him as a child would. But Scripture, Torah, seems to back up that the Kingdom actually belongs to the little children, and this really explains his level of indignation.
From right out of the gate, we see evidence of who the Kingdom belongs to -- just take a look at the first command given to us by our Creator:
"Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it!" (Genesis 1:28 [ISV])
Be fruitful and multiply. Make more of you. Make a next generation. And the scriptures go on from there, all basically saying, "Make a next generation, and teach them about the Kingdom of God." As an example, why did the Creator of the universe choose to make himself known to Abraham? Here is the answer:
"Indeed, I've made myself known to him in order that he may encourage his sons and his household that is born after him to keep the way of the LORD, and to do what is right and just, so that the LORD may bring about for Abraham what he has promised." (Genesis 18:19 [ISV])
The focus of YHWH always seems focused on the next generation. Immediately after the declaration that "YHWH is God, YHWH is One," is this command:
"You are to love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. Let these words that I'm commanding you today be always on your heart.Teach them repeatedly to your children. Talk about them while sitting in your house or walking on the road, and as you lie down or get up." (Deuteronomy 6:5-7 [ISV]
The most important thing you can do outside of loving YHWH with everything you have--in fact, the best way to love him with everything you have--is by teaching his commands, his Torah, to the next generation, because that will strengthen their relationship with YHWH. And so it is first very important that the next generation be brought into a relationship with the Father. Why? Because the Father's Kingdom actually belongs to them.
And so it stands to reason that Yeshua Messiah--the Living Torah and Way to the Father, would desire to have the little children come to him; and it also stands to reason why he would be indignant that his disciples would try and stop that from happening. As God in the flesh, or as one who is the Living Torah, his indignation certainly had to rise up out of knowing of past failures such as this:
"After that whole generation had died, another generation grew up after them that was not acquainted with the LORD or with what he had done for Israel." (Judges 2:10 [ISV])
The generation that died off was the generation of Israel that entered the Promised Land from Egypt. That next generation were their "little children." What a tragedy. The Kingdom was hindered in one generation. That's why there should be the mindset that the Kingdom of God actually belongs to the next generation, and not to us. If so, then the Kingdom advances. No doubt the indignation in the heart of the Savior over this tragedy had to be building up until the that day with the disciples. No doubt Yeshua was mindful of this failure when he watched his followers hinder the Kingdom of God by hindering the little children from drawing near to the Father through him.
We as his followers should not be hindering the little children from coming to Yeshua, we should be as indignant as he is about those that hinder the little children from coming to him. We should be most indignant when it comes to those ways we ourselves hinder them. Why? Because Yeshua belongs to them. God belongs to them. The Kingdom belongs to them.
Are the little children you have charge over hindered from a relationship with the Messiah? Get indignant.