Jesus has something He wants me to know. Jesus wants me to approach His kingdom with simplicity. Jesus wants me to be childlike. Jesus does not want me to be childish however.
People brought babies to Jesus, hoping he might touch them. When the disciples saw it, they shooed them off. Jesus called them back. “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.” | ~Jesus | Luke 18:15-17 (The Message Bible)
Here some ideas to consider:
- Right before this, Jesus had a lot to say to the religious elites. In contrast to the proud Pharisee are the children who were brought to Jesus. It was customary for the Jews to bring little children to the rabbis to receive their special blessing, so it is strange that the disciples would stand in the way. Perhaps they thought Jesus was weary and needed rest, or they may have decided that He was not really interested in children. How wrong they were!
- This was not the first time the disciples had attempted to “get rid of” people. They wanted to send the crowd away hungry, but Jesus fed them (Matt. 14:15ff); and they tried to stop the Canaanite woman from asking Jesus to heal her daughter (Matt. 15:21ff), but Jesus answered her prayer. The Twelve did not yet have the compassion of their Master, but it would come in due time.
- Jesus wants us to be childlike but not childish. An unspoiled child illustrates humility, faith, and dependence. A child has a sense of wonder that makes life exciting.
- The only way to enter God’s kingdom is to become like a child and be born again (John 3). If the proud Pharisee had become like a child, he too would have gone home justified.