Like Children

Like Children

01 May 2010

Today’s Reading: 1 Chronicles 14-15; Psalm 132; Matthew 18


1 At about the same time, the disciples came to Jesus asking, “Who gets the highest rank in God’s kingdom?” 2 For an answer Jesus called over a child, whom he stood in the middle of the room, 3 and said, “I’m telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you’re not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in. 4 Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God’s kingdom. 5 What’s more, when you receive the childlike on my account, it’s the same as receiving me. (Matthew 18:1-5 MSG)

It seems like us guys have always had a hard time understanding what really matters! The scholar Nicodemus came to Jesus looking for knowledge and insight about God’s kingdom. Jesus said, “Simply be a kid again! Be born of God’s Spirit and you’re in!” James and John asked Jesus to give them the number two and number three positions in God’s kingdom. They didn’t want Peter to get ahead of them. Jesus said, “It’s simple, just serve others. The more you serve, the greater you’ll be. Simply serve.”

Here, they’re asking who gets the highest rank in God’s kingdom. Jesus called over a child. Did you notice that children were often present in the Jesus story? Jesus called over a child and said “Be like this child. Stop striving. Stop competing. Stop comparing. Stop trying to figure everything out. Stop trying to earn a position, or decide who’s in and who’s out.”

Is this what Jesus was trying to get across to his closest followers?
1) Be born of the Spirit. Become God’s little child. That’s it. You’re in.
2) Stay simple. Take life as it comes. Live in the moment. Laugh and cry. Be you.
3) Don’t worry. Don’t try to figure everything out ahead of time.
4) Be open to wonder- the wonders of the natural world, of the other world.
5) Trust. Trust God. Trust those of child-like faith. Trust the trust worthy.

I think this is the point. How about you?


Father, I want to simply be “Abba’s Child.” Back to square one, keeping it simple. Trusting instead of trying. Being instead of doing. Living in the present instead of in the past or future. I need some help with this. The whole world keeps trying to pull me toward complexity, comparisons, and competition. I choose childlikeness. Amen.

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