People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on 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. Truly I tell you, 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, placed his hands on them and blessed them. (Mark 10:13-16 NIV)
Jesus is full of surprises! He taught with gentleness and compassion. He spoke about a new kingdom of love rather than one of aggression and force. He spent time with the marginalised and the poor rather than with leaders or those with power and influence.
At the end of one of his teachings he gives us a vital clue about how we can enter this new kingdom. We have to change, humble ourselves and become as little children (Matthew 18:3-4). This must have shocked Jesus’ listeners! How liberating! No longer are there endless requirements of “do’s” and “don’ts”; no longer are there impossible regulations to be fulfilled. All we need to do is to come like little children.
Although a liberating statement, it was one many of Jesus’ listeners found too hard. They were unable to lay aside their own strength and abilities to find this mysterious way of entering the kingdom. For us to enter the inheritance we are promised we have to change and let go of our sophistication, our striving, our plans and our programmes. We have to stop trying to find our identity in ‘doing’ and instead find it in ‘being’ a son or daughter to the Father. To step back from all of the things which we do in our own strength and motivation requires a humbling and a letting go of our pride and independence. We can learn to live in love rather than activity. We can learn that out of simplicity comes a power which we have not experienced or seen before.
This is a simple, yet powerful, way to live. It is the way Jesus lived and we know the extraordinary things that happened through him.
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Mark Gyde - A Father to YOU