So says John Ortberg.
In the ancient world children were routinely left to die of exposure — particularly if they were the wrong gender (you can guess which was the wrong one); they were often sold into slavery. Jesus’ treatment of and teachings about children led to the forbidding of such practices, as well as orphanages and godparents. A Norwegian scholar named Bakke wrote a study of this impact, simply titled: When Children Became People: the Birth of Childhood in Early Christianity.
Perhaps we would do well to think through some of the implications of this. Do we expect total and unquestioning obedience from “real people”? Do we impose our will on “real people,” without considering their opinions; or do we expect to have to work towards compromise and win-win situations? Do “real people” get into trouble when they make routine mistakes, like spilling drinks on the sofa? Do we get to hit “real people” when they don’t do what we want?
To find out other surprising ways Jesus changed the topography of the Western world, read the rest or Ortberg’s article here.