Enter like a child receive the blessings of family.
Mark 10:13-31 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
And they were bringing children to Him so that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked them. 14 But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and said to them, “Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.” 16 And He took them in His arms and began blessing them, laying His hands on them.
17 As He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. 19 You know the commandments, ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” 20 And he said to Him, “Teacher, I have kept all these things from my youth up.” 21 Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him, “One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” 22 But at these words he was saddened, and he went away grieving, for he was one who owned much property.
23 And Jesus, looking around, said to His disciples, “How hard it will be for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 The disciples were amazed at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 They were even more astonished and said to Him, “Then who can be saved?” 27 Looking at them, Jesus said, “With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.”
28 Peter began to say to Him, “Behold, we have left everything and followed You.” 29 Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake, 30 but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last, first.”
Jesus says: “Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.” It is vital then that we know how a child receives the kingdom. We often say or hear the phrase, childlike faith, but I believe there is more to our being childlike that is necessary for us to enter the kingdom of God. Along with a faith that believes what they are told, a child also obeys. Children obey both out of respect and out of love. The child is obedient because he or she would never want to disappoint their parent. Instead they delight in the attention, the affirmation and love they receive. In Mark 1:11, God spoke of Jesus saying: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased." Romans 8:14-17 says: For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God… you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ Abba translates as daddy. We are to love God as our daddy, like a small child, with faith, with respect, reverence and love. Being God’s child we are also His heir. Through Christ and like Christ we have all that is God’s, all that the kingdom has to offer. As His child, like God said of Jesus, so He says of us: You are my child; with you I am well pleased.
There is another trait that a child has that is vital for our entrance into the kingdom. A child views the world with a sense of awe. A child questions to learn not to dissent. A child views every day as a new adventure, believing in the unseen. A child does not worry about what will happen years from now, but lives for the day, for the moment. In Matthew 6:33-34 Jesus says: “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Indeed each day may have its own troubles, but if we will look at each day with the eyes of a child, with eyes filled with wonder and expectation, believing in the unseen, rather than what is seen, each day will be an adventure with Christ, in the kingdom. It is their sense of awe and wonder, the expectation of the child which produces their faith. We too, need to live with that sense of wonder and expectation that we will see and experience what is beyond the imagination of those in this realm.
In today’s text Jesus also says: “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake, but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life.” There are things and people from this world that we lose when we follow Christ. It’s not that we stop loving them. It is just that some will not walk with us when we follow Christ. It may cause us to forfeit some things we have had. Yet Jesus promises that we will receive a hundred times as much here in the present age. How can we receive more houses, brothers, sisters, mothers and children? In Matthew 12:47-50 Jesus gives us an explanation: Someone said to Him, “Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside seeking to speak to You.”But Jesus answered the one who was telling Him and said, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?” And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, “Behold My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.” When we follow Christ, when we do the will of the Father, we not only become children and heirs of God, but we also become members of His family, a family that stretches across the country and around the world. For most of us, if we were to rely on our natural families, we might have a few brothers and sisters, a few places and a few homes where we would be welcome. In the family of God there is no place on earth that we do not have a home. It may be a hut, it may be a mansion, but the family of God will welcome us and share what they have. At least that is how the family is to be.
In John 13:33-35 Jesus says: “Little children… A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” If we are members of God’s family, followers of Christ we must love one another. God’s family, His love should be the model for our own families and love. Jesus taught us to pray that things would be on earth as they are in heaven. Far too often we get it backwards. We make heavenly things to look like earthly things. We judge God’s love by imperfect human love. We make God’s family as dysfunctional as our own. We don’t receive the hundred fold blessings Jesus promises, because we live like the world not like the family of God. Not only do we lack the promise of the blessings, but the world does not know we are His disciples because we look like them rather than like Him. Jesus says: “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” If the world will see the light and love of God’s family for each other, they too will be drawn to the love of God and the family of God will increase. When the family grows the exponential blessings grow with it.
Heavenly Father, Abba Father thank You for Your love. I am in awe that You look down and are pleased in me. Holy Spirit guide me each day on the marvelous journey in the kingdom of heaven. May I greet each new day with the faith and anticipation of a child, a child of God. Thank You Lord Jesus Christ, through Your love, demonstrated and displayed on the cross, all this and all things are possible for me. Amen.