Grow Up and Be a Child (Mark 10: 13-16)
Sep 13, 2010 by Howard Baker | 0 Comments
In Mark 10:13-16 the disciples were keeping the children away from Jesus, much to His displeasure. He sternly told them, “Permit the children to come to Me . . . for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it at all.” In Matthew 18:3 Jesus, standing beside a child, said, “...unless you are converted and become like children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.”
What does it mean to become like a child? Jesus gave the answer in the next sentence: humbling oneself. Psalm 131 gives a touching picture of the humility of a child, embodied by the Psalmist, “my heart is not proud, nor my eye haughty . . . Like a weaned child rests against his mother, my soul is a weaned child within me.” The child is not too proud to crawl into his mother’s lap and rest. The child is dependent, admitting the need for love, security, and protection. As a result, the child is carefree in the care of the parent. One study revealed that the average child laughs 400 times a day while the average adult laughs only 15 times. The pride of independence robs the “adult” of the joyful trust of childlike humility.
As Peter Kreeft explains, “If we come to God with empty hands, he will fill them. If we come with full hands, he finds no place to put himself. It is our beggary, our receptivity, that is our hope.” Yet it is the poverty of emptiness that we fear.
It is the rare individual who can accept the loss of a job, relationship, or dream, as the creation of an empty space that God can now fill. When I choose to accept my poverty, God’s grace rushes in and I find myself blessed. It is when I admit my thirst that the water of life refreshes me. When I acknowledge my hunger for righteousness, the Bread of life nourishes me. When I face the darkness of my own emptiness, the light of Christ illumines my way. When I am willing to let go of my life, Jesus gives me His.