A group of parents were bringing their children to Jesus. Mark was one of the disciples, and he gives us his eyewitness account of what happened in Mark 10.
“People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them.”
It was not that the disciples were against kids. They just felt like Jesus was too important to be spending time with them. They felt like he had more important things to do, but Jesus had a different idea.
Mark continues, “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.”
Jesus said we must “receive the Kingdom of God like a child.”
What does that even mean? How can a person “receive the Kingdom of God like a child,” especially once they have outgrown childhood and become an adult?
In Judaism, a child was not considered to be old enough to relate to God through the Law until they had reached their 13th birthday. So to receive the kingdom of God like a little child meant rejecting the Law as a way of entering God’s kingdom and to fully rely instead on the love and grace of the God who made them.
It is clear that the simple trust of a child is a highly valued characteristic in God’s eyes. Sometimes, as adults, we make things far too complicated when it comes to matters that require faith.
We try to intellectualize the Gospel, which is a dangerous thing to do. We need to remember that the only thing that is required to have a relationship with God is the simple faith and trust of a child.
What if you could approach Christmas and the Christian faith with that level of innocence and simplicity this year? What if this year you were to approach Christmas and faith as if it were the very first time to be exposed to God, the Gospel and the Christmas message?
Unless we have faith like a child, we’ll never fully experience all of the good things that God wants us to experience this Christmas season.
You may read Steve Greene’s blog at pastorgreene.wordpress.com or you can email him at [email protected].