24 November 2017
Reading: Matthew 17-19
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)
Jesus was moving nearer and nearer to his death in Jerusalem and his closest followers were arguing more and more about which of them would hold the highest rank in God’s Kingdom. I really admire his patience with them and his confidence that the Holy Spirit could transform them into courageous, self-sacrificing messengers of the Kingdom.
He stood a child in the middle of the room and said, “Get this clear! Go back to square one, start over, and become simple again! Seeing the Kingdom, entering the Kingdom, living in the Kingdom requires that you become simple and childlike again.”
How can I become simple again? How can I unlearn all the complexities and ambitions and anxieties and politics and distrust? How can I forget all the failures and hurts and betrayals and disappointments? Jesus said, “Go back to square one and start over like children. Become simple and elemental again.”
• How did I become a Christ-follower in the first place? Hunger, hear, believe, repent, confess, obey, trust.
• How do I go back to square one, start over like a child, and become simple again? Hunger, hear, believe, repent, confess, obey, trust.
Not easy. In fact, humanly impossible. But Jesus said it and I believe him!
Father, I know I know too much. I know my weaknesses and limitations. I know the complexities and complications of life. I know too much. I choose to unlearn the things that keep me from simple, elemental, child-like faith and trust. I’m going back to square one and starting over like a little child. Amen.