But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.”
I was talking with a friend of mine this week. Both of us had the same observation. Often it is not the things that Jesus says that we don’t understand that bother us the most, it is the things He says that we do understand.
Case in point Luke 18:16-17.
Jesus makes these simple, yet incredibly profound statements to those who were following Him in the Judean countryside:
“The Kingdom belongs to children.”
“If you don’t embrace the kingdom like a child you’ll never enter it.”
It’s this last statement that haunts me. If we take Jesus at His word, what He is saying is nothing short of astounding. If we do not embrace the kingdom kind of life like a child, we will always find ourselves on the outside looking in. We may know all about the kingdom, but to taste it is to embrace it like a child.
So apparently for Jesus, something within a child teaches us what the kingdom of God is like. The life of a child is the closest thing we can see to what the kingdom of God is like in the here and now.
What was Jesus getting at? All this has got me thinking... and watching my kids. Here’s what I’m coming to learn:
Children live in the present, in the here and now.
Children do not live with worry and anxiety about the past or the future.
Children live with a sense of wild-eyed wonder, everything is new, and everything has the possibility of hope. There is no sense of despair.
Children know how to forgive, and really forget.
Children see others as friends until proven otherwise.
Children treat others with respect, regardless of skin color, religion or social status. If you’re a kid, then you’re like me, and that’s okay with me.
Children live with a deep sense of fairness and sharing, caring for one another.
So as my friend and I were talking about all this, some larger questions began to emerge for us – when exactly did we lose this childlike sense? When did we “grow up” and become consumed with “adultlike” concerns? And what is Jesus saying to us, here, now, today?
I have this sense that, as Jesus “called the children to Him,” so He is calling out to us. Return, return and embrace the kingdom kind of life like a child. Recapture what it means to be a child once again.
And in this, you’ll see the kingdom come alive in you.
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Which of the “childlike” observations above spoke most deeply to you and your life right now? What are some practical steps you can take to recapture that childlike sense?
Mark 10:13-16; Luke 18:15-17
Encouraging Parents…Building Families
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