Luke – Wide Open Doors!
Are we childlike or childish when it come to our relationship with God? Jesus loves all who God has created. All people (young and old) are welcomed into His Kingdom whose faith in Him is like a child’s faith, wholly trusting and forever loving no matter what.
When we become childish problems occur in our relationship with God and others around us. Instead of running to Jesus like these children with their parents, we can become selfish, expecting Jesus to run to us, to meet our needs and give us His undivided attention.
Last week, as we waited for a funeral to begin, I was watching a baby on the lap of a mother that reminded me of how we grow and learn in self awareness and the awareness of others. This baby, under the age of two, was well aware of herself. She also knew that when she cried she got what she waited. Her needs were met immediately because of the situation she was in at church.
She was also at the age to begin to discover that there were others in the room. It is amazing to study this growth process in humans. This baby’s eyes continually scanned the room but locked in on another toddler who walked near where she was sitting. She studied him with wonder, suddenly realizing that she was not the only one in the room of her size. She looked up at mom to see her reaction to this other little human. Mom responded with a greeting to the toddler. Then the baby reached out, only to pull toddler’s hair as a test I guess to see if he was real. He was! And he backed away from the hair pulling baby quickly.
We laughed while watching this take place, but I thought about how sad it is when grown-up humans come to God with childlike faith and trust, only to be childish when loving and serving others. Sometimes, like a child, we act as if we are the only ones in the room. We are childish when we don’t see the needs of others because we are only focused on our needs. We are childish when we come into God’s family expecting our needs and comfort levels to be satisfied. When we hurt others with our unsmiling disgruntled looks, body language and words of judgement who are finding Jesus for the first time it is like the baby who pulled the hair of the toddler. Childish. The hurt walk away.
Wise parents bring their children with them on their journey to find and follow Jesus. Wise church families welcome all these humans with wide open doors and open arms.
Luke 18, New Living Translation
Jesus Blesses the Children
15 One day some parents brought their little children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them. But when the disciples saw this, they scolded the parents for bothering him.
16 Then Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. 17 I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.”
THINK ABOUT IT…
It was customary for the Jews to bring little children to the rabbis to receive their special blessing, so it is strange that the disciples would stand in the way. Perhaps they thought Jesus was weary and needed rest, or they may have decided that He was not really interested in children. How wrong they were! Maybe THEY were tired of “peopling” and wanted to wrap things up for the day.
However, this was not the first time the disciples had attempted to “get rid of people.” They wanted to send the crowd away hungry, but Jesus fed them (Matt. 14:15), and they tried to stop the Canaanite woman from asking Jesus to heal her daughter (Matt. 15:21), but Jesus answered her prayer. The Twelve did not yet have the compassion of their Master, but it would come in due time.
Yes, Jesus wants us to be childlike but not childish. An unspoiled child illustrates humility, faith, and dependence. A child has a sense of wonder that makes life exciting. The only way to enter God’s kingdom is to become like a child and be born again (John 3). If the proud Pharisee, (yesterday’s “Daily Manna with Your Mug”), had become like a child, he too would have gone home justified.
On a scale from one to ten, from childish to childlike, where do I fall today?
How can I move from being childish to childlike with wonder and excitement in following Jesus once more or for the first time?
“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Matthew 6:33, NLT
Believe with childlike faith that does not waver and clings to God, our Father. Trust and Obey. Focus on Him. See what Jesus does and do that.
Dear Heavenly Father, Lord and Savior,
Wow, there is always more to the story than the immediate situation. What a Master Teacher you are! Help us to continually move from childish to childlike in our faith and behavior. When we fall back, correct us. Help us to be alert to those around us. Help us to look up to you, first, then do what you want us to do when we get the nod from you, just like a child does when they look at their parents. Oh Lord, God, thank you for being our Perfect, Good Father who opens your arms to us when we come running.
In Jesus Name, Amen