by Ryan Duncan
Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." – Matthew 19:14
When I was a little kid, I made an amazing discovery. I realized that if I found something I liked and asked the right person “Can I have this?” there was chance they would give it to me. This may not seem all that extraordinary to you, but trust me, to a child this was a goldmine. You see, I didn’t just ask for candy at the grocery store or stuff on TV commercials, I asked for everything. I asked other kids if I could have their toys, I asked the neighbors if I could have their dog, I think I even asked one family if I could have their house. I’m afraid I embarrassed my parents to no end, and by the time my father sat me down and explained that asking someone for all their belongings was rude, most people had stopped inviting our family over for dinner.
Kids can be a real hassle, and when you think about it, you can’t really blame the disciples for their actions in Mark 10. Take a look at the following passage,
People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them. - Mark 10:13-16
Here’s the thing about children. Children are messy, children are selfish, children are ignorant, and children are incredibly self-destructive. Don’t believe me? A monkey knows better than to stick a butter knife into an exposed wall socket, but let a child have its way and they will do it twice! Despite all this however, you really can’t help but admire the oblivious, single-minded nature of a child.
If anything, Christians should try learning from their example. Too often we stop ourselves for encountering God because we are afraid we don’t fit the “Christian” criteria. Well, I’ve got news for you; we will always be children in God’s eyes: messy, crazy, self-destructive children. But as long as we make him the single focus of our hearts, He doesn’t care. So take a lesson from these little ones, pursue God recklessly and don’t pay attention to what others think, for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.
Intersecting Faith and Life: Are you pursuing God with the heart of a child? Take a moment to consider.