The text of today is on the one level about Jesus’ attitude to children, but is more importantly and on a deeper level about the kingdom. While in Mark and Luke the children were being brought to Jesus that he might “touch” them (Mk 10:13; Lk 18:15), in Matthew the children are brought that he “might lay his hands on them and pray” (19:13). These two acts are the typical acts of blessing by a revered teacher and Matthew intends to show that Jesus is regarded as such by the people. Jesus goes further than the blessing to make a pronouncement about who will inherit the kingdom, and he identifies not just the children but also “such as these”. This means that anyone no matter of what chronological age will inherit the kingdom if he/she receives it without presumption and self-justification.
As Christians we are blessed in that all that we receive from God is not through any effort on our part but is given gratis or free. We have only to receive. Even this, however, is difficult because sometimes we mistakenly think that it is our effort that brings us what we have.