Jesus values love over law.
In Matthew 14-19 we can see that Jesus shows extraordinary compassion for children and little ones. This love and compassion can be seen throughout all of His traveling ministries.
“[Jesus] loved the farm boys and girls in the countryside, and He loved the children in the cities. Everywhere He went He showed us how to love children like He did; without condition, with open arms, in the midst of any trouble.”
In fact, Jesus was a great defender of children.
The accounts in Matthew came at a time of unrest. Jesus’ cousin, John the Baptist, had recently been murdered and Jesus was under attack by religious leaders who considered him to be a heretic.
“They peppered him with questions about marriage and divorce in hopes that He would answer in ways that showed Him defying not only their own religious laws, but also the Roman Civil law. The Pharisees wanted to be rid of Jesus because his teachings on spiritual freedom and a new way of living by loving were not religion as usual.”
His teachings were revolutionary because they were centered in grace, not law.
Yet in this context of unrest and trials Jesus showed us His love of children to demonstrate His kingdom’s priorities: love is more important than law.