Updated: Sep 24, 2020
One day some parents brought their little children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them. But when the disciples saw this, they scolded the parents for bothering him. Then Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples, "Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn't receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it."
This familiar passage has been illustrated a lot over the years. I have seen countless pictures of Jesus surrounded by kids, smiling at them and talking to them. And I have no doubt that this moment in history included those things. But Jesus is not just showing and telling his disciples that he loves children. He is telling them something even more important...
He is telling them about the Kingdom of God.
The Kingdom of God is not a place, at least not one you can find on a map. The Kingdom of God is wherever God is recognized as King...where people worship him and know that he alone is God. Jesus talks a lot about this Kingdom in the Bible, but in this particular moment, he tells his disciples that the Kingdom belongs to those who are like children...like you and all the other children of the world.
Why? What do kids have in common?
Well, you are all still growing. And you know it. You realize you are still learning, getting bigger and stronger, and looking to other people for help.
And here's the problem...as people get older, they often think they have learned enough. They think that because their bodies have stopped growing that their minds and hearts are done growing, too. They think they don't need help from anyone else.
You see, being part of the Kingdom of God...recognizing that God is King...also means recognizing that you are not the King. It means realizing that God knows everything and we never will. It means knowing that our love for God will never match his love for us. It means we understand how much we need him...every single day, no matter how old we get.
And the people of God's Kingdom are the ones who keep a child-like approach to life. They never stop learning. They never stop growing, stretching their minds and hearts to love him and others more. They never shy away from asking for help.
I hope you are learning a lot every day...but I also hope you never stop wanting to learn more. I hope you are growing big and strong...but I also hope that you never stop growing a bigger and stronger heart for God and for others. I hope you are learning how to do things without help...but I also hope you know that you will always need God. Below is a verse for you to remember this week along with read, make, and take activities.
The humble will see their God at work and be glad. Let all who seek God's help be encouraged. Psalm 69:32
Read Luke 9:46-48
How is this episode similar to the one from Luke 18 quoted above?
How is it different?
How does it feel to know that Jesus values those who still have a lot to learn and need his help?
Make a meal with an older family member this week. Notice the things you are able to do and the moments when you need help. Thank God for giving you the abilities you have AND for giving you people in your life to help you.
Write the word "humble" on a piece of paper or sticky note and put it somewhere you will see it often during the week. Each time you see it, remind yourself that the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are humble...who know that learning, growing, and asking for help are not bad but good...they are marks of those who follow Jesus and understand their place in HIS Kingdom.