RECEIVE THE KINGDOM OF GOD LIKE A CHILD OR DO NOT ENTER!

Mark 10:13-15
13 And they were bringing children to Him that He might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. 14 But when Jesus saw it, He was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to Me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. 15 Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”

I have heard this passage preached on many times, yet often verse fifteen is glossed over. How could this be, you might ask? It seems like having a clear understanding of the qualifier of “receiving like a child” to enter into the Kingdom of God, might be pretty important. Furthermore, consider the parallel passage in Matthew[1], “unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”

Reflect on some of these characteristics of children below. How might they apply to our ability to spend eternity with Jesus?

Young children are…
  •  Trusting and quick to believe:
    • Take the word of their parents for what they say…don’t doubt
    • Parents don’t need to be rational or use logic to influence
  • Submissive (recognize authority)
  • Don’t worry about things; Expect their parents to take care of the details
    • Matthew 6:25-34
    • Philippians 4:6
  • Know their place/home
    • Home is a place of rest and safety
  • Helpless/dependent
    • Whinny/cry out/complain to parents for wants and needs
  • Sense of wonder and curiosity
  • Joyful and playful; Simple things can keep them occupied
  • Carefree
  • Enjoy being with their parents
    • Feel secure with them
    • Want to spend time with their parents
  • Honest, often brutally – “Out of the mouth of babes”
  • Their selfish/sinful nature is rawer – less refined
 
I ask myself often, “Do I have a child-like faith like this?” Most of the time, I don’t. Matthew says that I must, “turn and become like a child – have the humility of a child.[2]” I need to stop being so busy. I think too often I am a Martha…“distracted with much serving…anxious and troubled about many things”(Luke 10:40-41). In the following verse, Jesus said that only one thing is necessary, to choose the good portion, which will not be taken away from you.

More food for thought:
  •  What are the implications of these verses with respect to our obligation as parents?
  •   Jesus made time for children. Do we?
 
   [1] Matthew 18:1-5
   [2] Matthew 18:3-4

by Michael Burner, Deacon

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