“And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, ‘Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.’ And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them” (Mark 10:13-16 ESV).
Jesus loved the children coming to him.
Just prior to this passage, Mark records the story of the Pharisees asking Jesus, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” Immediately after this story is the story of the rich, young man who wanted to do the right things to get into heaven. I don’t think Mark accidentally placed them in this order.
As we age, we have a tendency to lose our zeal and passion for Jesus. Instead of having that radical faith of a child, we try to justify away remaining selfish in some areas. We try to find excuses to do what we want while keeping a modicum of religion. Just enough religion to get us saved.
But Jesus smacks these two ideas down. We must be like the children. The crazy, fun, loud children.
Francis Chan shares the following in his book Forgotten God:
When I was preaching through this passage (Acts 2:38-39) at my church, my seven-year-old daughter, Mercy, understood. She came to me afterward and said, ‘Dad, I want to repent of my sins and be baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’ I love the simplicity and greatness of her faith. She didn’t need to debate the finer points of how and when, exactly, the Holy Spirit would come. She just wanted to obey the passage to the best of her ability. I realize Mercy doesn’t have the biblical knowledge many of us do, but I wonder how many of us have the faith she has (69).
The faith of a child.
It’s the faith of the child that causes us to drop all of our doubts, our inhibitions, and our hesitations. It frees us to live fully in the glory of God, being used by Him to do His work and bring about His will here on earth as it will be in heaven. When we feel God’s prompting, it doesn’t need to make sense. We need to let go and follow. The love we will show. The change we will bring. The hope that will come. It will all surprise us. And we will be more blessed for it.
May we learn to love the children like Jesus loved the children. May we avoid becoming frustrated when they are loud and crazy. Instead, may we see a glimpse of how free we are to be in the presence of God.
The popular musician Beck said in an interview, “I think you have to keep a childlike [quality] to play music or make a record.”
It’s not just limited to making music. It’s necessary for living the beautiful music of God. Having a childlike faith is necessary to hear God’s tune, find your part, and to start making wonderful music with others hearing the same tune. God’s tune. Available to the ears of people with a childlike faith.