Santa’s great pleasure is Jesus’ pleasure too

For most people, Christmas has nothing to do with Christ or his birth, it’s about the mythical Santa Claus bringing gifts to children on Christmas Eve. But isn’t that the secret behind the enduring success of Christmas? It’s the pleasure of giving gifts to children. “It’s for the kids,” people say, because it’s the wonderful reaction of children to receiving gifts “from Santa” that makes Christmas so appealing.

How interesting, then, that Jesus was also deeply touched by children. When children were brought to him for a blessing in Mark 10:14 – much like parents take their children to Santa Claus for a gift – Jesus cried out to his disciples, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”

The great gift Jesus had come to bring to all creation was the kingdom of God, and everything he said and did illustrated the presence of that kingdom on earth. In effect, then, he was like Santa Claus. He’d come bearing gifts, the best gifts ever, that would bring joy and peace to the earth at last, just like Christmas, and children had no trouble accepting him.

But “when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things Jesus did and the children shouting in the temple area, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David,’ they were indignant,” Matthew 21:15. The children better understood who Jesus was than the high-minded religious adults did. No wonder Jesus made the rather startling statement back in Mark 10:15, “I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

A child simply accepted Jesus for who he was and what he’d come for, to be their messiah, king and saviour (all of which was included in their shout of ‘Hosanna to the Son of David’ in the temple.) They also went to Jesus willingly, just like children accept Santa Claus for who he is and what he’s come for, and go to him willingly.

Just like Christmas is “for the kids,” so, then, is the kingdom. It’s for those who react to Jesus like a child reacts to Santa Claus. That’s why children were such a pleasure to Jesus, and why he lifted them in his arms “and blessed them,” verse 16, just like Santa lifts children onto his lap and it’s his great pleasure to bless them too.

It can seem unfortunate that the mythical Santa Claus is replacing Jesus, but in what gives Santa great pleasure we have a wonderful visual clue as to what gives Jesus the greatest pleasure too.


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