"Then they brought little children to Him, that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them. But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased…"

(Mark 10:13-14a)

Jesus watched as His disciples harshly expressed their disapproval of those who brought their children to Jesus. The word that Mark uses to describe how Jesus felt is aganakteō. This word means that Jesus experienced extreme anger and hatred. He was repulsed by the scene — it disgusted Him.

Consider what Jesus says to His disciples after this:

"'Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God'" (Mark 10:14b).

Notice that Jesus's response is a model of assertive communication: It is direct and respectful without being passive or aggressive. He does not allow Himself to vent his emotions to His disciples. In simple, clear language, Jesus tells His disciples what He wants them to do, and what He does not want them to do.

Also, notice that the basis for His command is God's will. Jesus does not rely on His anger and disgust as grounds for His command. Jesus reveals to His disciples that the eternal kingdom God established (Daniel 2:44) is made up of children and child-like persons. Jesus establishes an expectation that His disciples act in harmony with God's interests, and not hinder them.

Call to Action

Communicate like Jesus today. Let your communication be clear, direct, and respectful. Avoid passive and aggressive communication. Make God's will, which can be learned through the Holy Bible, the basis of your decision-making. Make it the standard by which you lead and influence others.

All scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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