We see Jesus giving a sermon, and there are parents who are bringing their children to be blessed. The disciples stop them, telling them Jesus is too busy to bless them. Jesus becomes indignant, furious at the disciples for blocking the children from coming to him. Many read this passage as simply the disciples were the bad guys for blocking the children from coming to Jesus.
1. Child-like Dependence
And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. 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. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” (13-15)
Jesus is not saying the kingdom of God belongs to children, but it belongs to people who are like children. How can we receive the Kingdom of God like a child? We need to depend on God. At the time, the disciples stopped the children because they had little status and power, and were unimportant in society. How can we depend on Christ? By Knowing how much he loves us. We seem helpless and unimportant but God knows us by our name and loves us so much. He knew we are spiritually helpless and dead, and could not save ourselves, so God himself came down in flesh to die for us and set us free from sin. Having assurance of God’s love makes a world of difference. People seek out acceptance, and fear rejection and despise being looked down upon. However, we are not rejected by God, but accepted as we are through Jesus Christ. The most high God loves us and showed it to us by dying for us. Then, all we need to do is give thanks and live with confidence that we are his children. There is no need for us to seek our recognition or acceptance from anyone else in the world, for God knows and loves us. That love gives us strength and hope. In the same way Jesus embraced the children, he embraces us. Just as children are dependent on their parents, we must be dependent on God, and he will provide everything for us. God knows everything we need, and before we even ask, he will give it to us. So many of us depend on ourselves or other people. Let us depend on Jesus like a child.
2. Child-like Faith
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
When we say faith, it’s not something we can muster up or achieve. Faith is accepting the truth. The children of God could not enter heaven by their own strength, so God gave them the gift of salvation through Jesus. We did not earn it; God gave it to us. We need to use not our own calculation or methods, but accept God’s covenant as it is. Children believe everything they see at face-value, accept everything as it is. When we receive God’s word as it is, his power will fill our lives.. Whether you acknowledge it or not, God’s Word is his absolute Truth. He has freed us from sin and death, and we have eternal life and belong to the kingdom of God. However, we doubt his promises. God wants to use your life and your talents for his kingdom and his desire. Until when? Until Jesus returns to the earth, and we meet him face-to-face. Therefore, let’s pray for God to fill us with his Spirit, for the disbelief and doubt to be dispersed, and for our lives to be used for his desire. Then, God the Creator will work within us with power and recreate us. Let us be confident of this: I am a child of God.
3. True Blessing
And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them. (16)
Jesus took the children in his arms and blessed them. When a child is hurt and upset, all it takes to make them feel better is to be in the arms of their mother or father. In that same way, Jesus is embracing us. We are most blessed.
Every good and perfect gift comes from above. (James 1:17)
We are loved, accepted and called. Therefore, know your value and worth as a child of God and ambassador of Christ. We are holy, and set apart from everyone else in the world, so that he can pour down all his love and blessings upon us and use us for his greater plan. Being a child of God means that God has complete responsibility for your life. Then, we can wake up everyday holding on to God’s promises. What kind of spiritual state must we be in as children of God? A spiritual state of being unshaken. How? By rooting ourselves in the love of God.
Let’s concentrate on the right things. We concentrate on so many things but Christ. How? First, hold on to the answer that Jesus is the Christ. Second, hold onto the conclusion that God has called us to raise disciples and fulfill his promises. Third, change the field that I am in: my family, my school and my workplace. Three times a day, just find a few minutes to concentrate on Christ.
Lord, open my eyes to see I am not rejected but accepted by you as your child. Help me to have a child-like dependence on you and a child-like faith that accepts your covenantal word as it is.