Luke 18: 15-17…Childish or Child-like?

Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them. And when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”

Comment: This is a short passage and really needs to be followed up with the passage I’ll comment on tomorrow. However, it has a very important lesson in these few verses.

I’m sure that we’ve all heard the statement that religion is good for kids and old people. I’ve heard it said that ‘like a child’ is equivalent to ‘childish’. Neither is correct.

The parents wanted Him, as a Rabbi, to bless their children. His disciples thought His message so important that He shouldn’t waste His time on kids but be free to speak to listening adults. He repudiated the idea. Certainly He didn’t mean that heaven is only for kids. I think it worth considering some of the characteristics of children which should be universal in all who wish to follow Him. You may be able to think of more than I list here.

  • They learn quickly and put what they learn into practice. This morning I had the joy of listening to my two year old great granddaughter quote ‘Twinkle, twinkle little star.’
  • They know how to show love. It is true that they can be naughty (although I’m not sure that that quality was meant in Jesus words!) but they know how to love and show love. What parent can’t remember their kid throwing their arms around your neck and saying I love you, Mummy/Daddy). These are precious memories and God is our Father if we have made the choice to follow His Son. He wants our genuine love.
  • They are trusting. I remember how our kids used to laugh with delight as my wife and I threw them a couple of yards from one to the other. They trusted us and enjoyed the trust. Maybe you think we shouldn’t have done that. But don’t expect God to make everything easy as you travel through life.

Prayer: Forbid that in adulthood I should be childish, but please help me to maintain the childlikeness which You love.

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