Sunday, March 11, 2007



In just three verses in Luke 18:15-17 we have the message of the kingdom bottom-lined and it’s all about being like a child.

People were also bringing babies to Jesus for him to place his hands on them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. But Jesus called the children to him and said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it."

In the parable just before this story about children Jesus said, “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled and whoever humblesw himself will be exalted.” Now Jesus says, “You must receive the kingdom of God like a little child in order to enter into the kingdom.” This seems to be saying the same thing. And, there seem to be several ways we can hinder children from coming to Jesus.

The theme here is: Disciples of Jesus must remove all hindrances that keep children from coming to Jesus. The disciples were slightly annoyed that people were bringing babies to Jesus for Him to place His hands on them. They scolded those who were bringing the babies to Jesus. They certainly didn’t seem to think that children were strategic appointments for Jesus to bother with.

Jesus took this opportunity to make an important illustration out of this incident. Jesus ignored their rejection of the babies and countermanded what they were doing. He invited all of the little children to come to Him. He gives a most significant reason for embracing the children. The reason? The kingdom of God belongs to the little children.

Then Jesus makes a most amazing statement which is the lesson He wanted to make clear: “Anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

Two things come to light here: FIRST—Don’t hinder the children in any way from coming to Jesus. So, what are the things that we do that might hinder children from coming to Jesus.
1. Our pride in thinking that children don’t know enough and haven’t lived long enough to understand the things of Jesus.
2. Parental beliefs—There are two ways to hinder children from coming to Jesus. One is to indoctrinate your children with your beliefs. If you do this without encouraging your kids to think it through on their own to embrace it for themselves, you run the risk of propagandizing your children to believe what you believe without thinking about it. This will most surely set your children up for losing their (your) beliefs later, when attacked. The second is to ignore sharing any sort of beliefs with your children, believing they must be left alone to figure it out on their own. This sets your children up to be lost and confused throughout their lives. There is nothing redeeming about this approach at all.

The best way is for you to embrace your beliefs personally and to set an example for your children. This sets up your children to be more fully persuaded by the observation and influence of your life, based upon your relationship together. If you don’t possess certain qualities, you can’t pass them on to your children. But, most importantly, from your own faith and lifestyle you have the opportunity to advance the conversation about faith and about Jesus.

The SECOND thing that comes to light for me in this passage is the clear understanding regarding who will enter the kingdom of God. Jesus says that no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he comes as a little child. What are the characteristics of a little child? A few obvious ones are a simplicity, pure heart and thinking, inquisitive, an openness to learn and a curiosity.

Possibly the best characteristic of all is that children are trusting. I think this is what Jesus loves the most. He is looking for and waiting for “ANYONE” who will come to Him with simple and pure trust. For adults this is very difficult; for children it’s easy and very natural. So, come to Jesus as little children.