Luke 18:15-17, KJV
15 And they brought unto Him also infants, that He would touch them; but when His disciples saw it, they rebuked them.
16 But Jesus called them unto Him and said, “Suffer little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not, for of such is the Kingdom of God.
17 Verily I say unto you, whosoever shall not receive the Kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.”
We were wrong (like usual it seems). I guess that we were trying to maximize Jesus’ ministry. We meant well, but He needed organization. That was our “ministry.” We simply felt that Jesus’ time was our concern, and as His disciples we wanted Him to connect with those who really mattered.
The parents were bringing their children to be blessed by Jesus.
“It was the custom for mothers to bring their children to some distinguished Rabbi on the first birthday that he might bless them.”
Jesus made it clear that these children needed to be the focus of our ministry. Our efforts were not to be centered on adults, rather it was misguided thinking that we direct Jesus’ work to be focused and redirected. These little ones were in the way.
Up to now, Jesus’ work was for adults. There were lepers, demon-possessed, paralyzed, tax-collectors all waiting for His ministry. Somehow we overlooked the needs of little children. Again, we were wrong, misguided, and ignorant of the walk of the true believer.
And sure enough, Jesus explained what we were missing. Children were to become our focus. They were the ones who we were to emulate and esteem. The radical thing to us was understanding that these ‘little ones’ were that significant. This was a powerful jolt.
“Let these children alone. Don’t get between them and me. These children are the kingdom’s pride and joy. Mark this: Unless you accept God’s kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you’ll never get in.”
Luke 18:16-17, The Message
This was astounding! It was nothing less than another radical thought from our Teacher. Accepting this wasn’t easy, but Jesus was crystal clear. We dare not think otherwise, but to believe this was against all we thought we understood.
Jesus understood that childlikeness was the only way we could enter His Kingdom.
Trust me on this–we believed otherwise. Up to now, we assumed that maturity meant sophistication. It was all about right thinking and good theology that God was looking for. We assumed that being simple wasn’t quite what Jesus wanted from us. Rather we believed the opposite.
Children were now to be our examples. Their simpleness was to be our guide–it was the Kingdom of God’s doorway into true discipleship.
“Part of the exquisite beauty of salvation is its simplicity. Any man, woman, or child can come to Christ with absolutely nothing to offer Him but simple faith-just as they are. Salvation requires nothing more than childlike faith-believing that Jesus Christ died for my sins and accepting His gift of Salvation.”