Jesus sets the bar - 11 March 2021
By Louise Gevers
- Mark 10:14-16
When Jesus noticed this, he was angry and said to his disciples, “Let the children come to me, and do not stop them, because the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I assure you that whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.” Then he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on each of them, and blessed them.
A short, heart-warming video doing the rounds on social media had the caption, “If you are born in 2020, everything looks like a hand sanitizer”. This video captured toddlers “sanitising” their hands at any structure their own height that looked even remotely like a sanitizer: an outdoor light battery, a covered switch; a little gouge in a wall or an irrigation nozzle, mimicking their parents perfectly, and then walking off, looking very satisfied.
Children are eager to copy adults doing “important” things, showing their innocent response to the world as they perceive it. Their freshness and honesty reveal their unpretentious natures and spontaneous joy in living.
They trust easily and are quick to forgive; they’re curious and eager to learn, accept help readily and love helping others in return; they recognise worth in caring people. In fact, they are untainted by life which doesn’t mean that they never do anything wrong, but that their immature mistakes become learning curves and are not fixed in them.
Jesus teaches His disciples that children are important to Him and childlike simplicity like theirs is the key to being open to receive the Kingdom of Heaven and thwart the pride, lethargy, sophistication and cynicism that build up in people’s hearts and block faith. Those who want to receive the Kingdom need to trust Him with childlike faith and be eager to “do the will of his Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21 )
Perhaps this same childlike spirit of believing was exemplified in the seventy-two disciples Jesus sent out on a mission and enabled them to return to Him so joyfully. (Luke 10:17-21) Jesus had told them, “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.” (Matthew 10:16 NIV) This instruction had been to warn them to be wise in handling the dangers of sin they would encounter and remain innocent by holding fast to His truth with childlike trust.
Have we received the Kingdom of God like a child and discovered the fresh beauty of childlike faith and trust? We need to.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, Please help me to discern if I still need to discover that simple trust and faith of a child to be honest, unpretentious and spontaneous with You so that l may clearly and joyfully celebrate Your values in my life. Help me to relinquish all my old destructive attitudes and free me from the subtle pride and resentment that block my understanding. Help me to live to do Your will for Your glory. Amen