Movie of the Week: The King of Kings by Cecil B. DeMille 1927
Clip: 41:30 – 44:00
Old Testament: 1 Samuel 17:4-51
New Testament: Matthew 19:13-15
It is one of the most sentimental Bible verses about Jesus – that he welcomed children to him. I love the clip from The King of Kings that shows how warmly Jesus embraced children. DeMille takes some creative license as he shows Jesus fixing one of the children’s doll, but doesn’t that reinforce the warm and welcoming image of Jesus? Can’t you picture him taking time to fix the children’s toys?
Sometimes, children don’t feel as though they are part of the church. They are often segregated off to their own corners of Bible classes and youth groups, but the church is at its best when it embraces its multigenerational makeup. Children can help us see Jesus better. Mark 10:15 says “anyone who doesn’t receive the kingdom of God like a child will never enter it” (NLT). [As an interesting aside, a young boy named Mark plays an important role alongside Jesus throughout the movie. He represents the Mark who wrote the Gospel. In the movie, he is healed by Jesus and, as a result, is enamored by him and follows him closely throughout. He is portrayed as “the nameless ‘naked’ lad who barely escaped apprehension by the authorities when Jesus was arrested in Gethsemane (in Mark 14:51-52). While it may be unlikely that Mark’s story followed exactly the way the movie depicts, it is interesting to think about the reactions of those whom Jesus healed. Surely there were those who literally followed him around every day after being healed – wouldn’t you? Imagine the children that he healed – as they grew up I’m sure they wanted to stay as close to Jesus as they could.]
If we are going to receive the kingdom like a child, we probably should be spending a good bit of time learning from children. Today, think about the children who are part of your church. Pray for them by name, and if you are so moved, write them a note or send them a card in the mail just to let them know you are thinking about them. Then, take some time to consider how you might be able to live out your faith more like a child.
 W. Barnes Tatum, Jesus at the Movies, 3rd ed. (Salem, OR: Polebridge Press, 2013), 61.