Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me. Don’t stop them, because the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” – Mark 10:14-15
At one point in Jesus’ ministry people, presumably parents and grandparents, were bringing small children to Jesus. His disciples responded by rebuking them, essentially trying to get them to go away and leave Jesus alone. This was Jesus, after all, the one who taught and healed so many; surely he had important things, adult matters, that he must attend to!
Jesus’ reply was to rebuke the rebukers. Children are important, he assured them while he took the little ones into his arms. Oh, and by the way, God’s kingdom is for the children and if you don’t receive it like a child then you won’t have a place in it.
Strong words for these men who followed him.
So, what is it that sets children apart? What is it that we must imitate? In some ways we are to be decidedly not child-like. Upon coming to Jesus, being reborn as spiritual infants, we are to feed and be fed on God’s word and grow into mature spiritual adulthood (Hebrews 5:11-6:3, 1 Peter 2:2-3).
But in another sense, we should always remain very child-like in faith. What sets children apart from adults is how freely they trust. Sadly, in a sin-stained world, such trust can be abused to the child’s harm; but this is not so with God. God is perfect in love as the great Father. He may discipline us for our good, but he never abuses and causes harm.
Our trust in God is to be childlike, unhindered and free. We’re to see him as the Good Father who always does what is best for his children. We’re to see him as the Great Provider who gives us what we need and beyond what we need for eternal joy. We’re to see him as the Solid Rock to whom we anchor our lives and future hope.
We’re to come to him to be received by him and be blessed by him, without hindrance or hesitation, because that is the very thing he calls us to through Jesus. We’re to have the trust of a child because, if we belong to Jesus by faith, then we are God’s children, and we can rest secure and happy in his arms.
Image taken and modified with permission from pixabay.com.