Luke 18:15-17 (CEV)
15 Some people brought their little children for Jesus to bless. But when his disciples saw them doing this, they told the people to stop bothering him. 16 So Jesus called the children over to him and said, “Let the children come to me! Don’t try to stop them. People who are like these children belong to God’s kingdom. 17 You will never get into God’s kingdom unless you enter it like a child!”
Like A Child
Anybody ever spend time with little kids?
Have you ever noticed the way they approach new ideas, new opportunities, new challenges?
I’m not talking about ten year olds, or fourteen year olds, here. By that age, they’ve picked up on all sorts of fears and expectations and restrictions that they have to try to work within.
I’m talking about little kids, like my three-year-old and one-year-old nephews.
I’m talking about the age where every single new rock along the path is an exciting marvel to be picked up and turned over and considered for its amazingness.
The age where a child will take all six pieces out of the wooden puzzle one at a time and then put each one back carefully into the puzzle space with delight, over and over and over again.
The age where, when they don’t know how to do something, but want it done, they have no problems asking for and expecting the help they need from the people around them.
The age where, when confronted with something terrifying, they have no problems screaming, throwing their hands up in the air and high-tailing it back to mama or papa.
Little kids are not perfect.
Little kids have not got everything figured out.
There’s a reason that parents of small children carry around bags full of complete outfits, multiple meals and soothing items. These tiny humans have an awful lot of growing still to do – an awful lot of maturation left to go.
And yet Jesus uses them to encourage us.
If we feel like we have a long way to go. If we feel like we have a lot of growing left to do. If we feel like there’s a lot that we’re not getting perfect anymore, then the Kingdom is for us.
If we feel excited and eager and nervous and uncertain all at the same time, then the Kingdom is for us.
If all we’re up for is taking the same puzzle pieces out of the puzzle and putting them back in again for awhile, then the Kingdom is still for us.
The challenge for us adults is letting ourselves be small. Letting ourselves be less than. Letting ourselves be vulnerable. That’s the challenge for us.
But it’s also the invitation. Can you imagine the freedom that could come from letting go of the need to impress or achieve perfection or ‘have it all together’?
Can you imagine the freedom that could come from being able to be honest and interconnected with others?
The freedom that could come from being able to say, “I’m really struggling here – could I have a little help?”
Our society doesn’t encourage this kind of behavior out of adults any more than it did in Jesus’ day, so I think Jesus’ words are just as radical now as they were two thousand years ago.
“The way to enter God’s Kingdom is like a child.”
- What can you remember from your times with little kids.
- What is it about the way that little kids behave that Jesus wants to call you closer to today?
- How can you welcome others who may be children, or act like children into the Kingdom?
- What do you need to let go of to experience the freedom of living life the Kingdom way?