Mark 10: starting at verse 13 “PEOPLE WERE BRINGING LITTLE CHILDREN TO JESUS TO HAVE HIM TOUCH THEM, BUT THE DISCIPLES REBUKED THEM. 14 WHEN JESUS SAW THIS, HE WAS INDIGNAT. 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. 15 I TELL YOU THE TRUTH, ANYONE WHO WILL NOT RECIEVE THE KINGDOM OF GOD LIKE A LITTLE CHILD WILL NOT ENTER IT.”
A child is often selfish wanting anything that she or he can get his or her hands on. Just from personal experience I know that my three year old sister asks for the world and then some. A child doesn’t seem to obey very well, either. Their favorite word, no doubt, is “no”. You need to watch them like a hawk so they don’t get into too much trouble. You need to pick up after them and clean them because they are so messy. Why then would Jesus tell us that we need to become like a little child to enter into the kingdom of Heaven? What qualities does a child have that I as an adult do not?
It is a really funny thing and you and I probably often wonder if Jesus was all there when He told us that we need to receive the Kingdom of Heaven like a little child if we wish to enter into it. But as frustrating it seems to be when it comes to a child’s ability to listen and obey I have found some things that only a child seems to posses now a days.
A child looks at the world with curiosity. As an adult I sometimes don’t have time for looking at new and unique stuff. I am too caught up in what I like to call “life”. But a child does not have a obligations to go to work, deal with family issues or need to talk to a friend at a curtain time. A child has time to examine a flower and even needs to be taught to stay away from a stranger because their natural instinct is to be friendly. A rubber ball or a lady bug are interesting things to a child. They have time to devote to things as simple as a pile of dirt. Yes, we can consider this a bad thing. “Billy! Get out of that dirt”, or “Sally, don’t bother that man”. But what if we as adults could get away from our common life and routine and spare some time for a stranger that might not have any friends? Or give time to things, that we have been taught don’t mean much?
A child is not afraid to show emotion. I realize that this can be frustrating at times. But what if we as adults were able to show others what we truly felt? There are many examples of my three year old sister telling me straight up to not call her a name she does not like. I never worry about her not telling me if she is hungry or wants to go to Mc. Donald’s. Too many times I see people that get made fun of, and instead of telling the person how they truly feel about what was said or done they act as though it is ok and laugh along with the crowd. So many grown ups hide there emotions so far inside themselves that they become lost and their self worth is extinguished.
As much as a child might seem to want everything so that they could be happy I do not see them as selfish beings. They aren’t just caring for themselves they grow attached to the people around them very quickly and begin to care for others. They are not worried if the person is rich or poor, strong or weak. They have not been taught who you should care about and who you should not. They see the people in need and truly feel for them without the lens that society tends to put onto us.
When I was sick with a fever above a hundred and was dizzy every time I stood up, it was my three year old sister who came to my side and asked me if I was ok and drew pictures for me so I could get better. There have been many times that I have been hurt and my sister was teary eyed because she couldn’t stand seeing me in such a condition. She was not interested in the mistakes I made that might have made me sick or the way I might have treated her badly a few days before. She cared about me getting better and was not afraid to show her love for me by the emotions she expressed and the pictures she drew.
Having a childlike approach is what counts when it comes to who enters into the Kingdom of God. Jesus does not need you to be a good student or athlete in school. He does not look at how skinny, fat, strong, or weak you are. Instead God wants you to strive for something more – to strive to become a child once again and see the world with the clear view that you were originally given and not look at it from the lens that society or even your friends have given you.
If you want to have a wonderful life, if you want to see the true value this world and the next has to give, if you want to be able to change the world you must see the world as a little child sees it–without judgment or condemnation, without the need for money or accolade.