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, verses 13-16.
We can all grasp the obvious hint from these verses: have the innocence of children to receive the kingdom of God. To receive Christ’s peace, be as humble, inquisitive, innocent, trusting, and believing as children.
Tell me: do you think Josh Duggar can ever be innocent again? Or Hillary Clinton? Do you think that CEOs, union bosses, land-rich but cash-poor farmers, and insurance industry workers terrified about losing their jobs can ever receive the kingdom of God again like children? What about the doctors in those Planned Parenthood videos, the doctors who scissor open baby skulls to extract human brains: can they ever again receive the kingdom of God like children? ISIS head-slicers, Jared Fogle, meth addicts in Indiana, angry looters in Ferguson, political consultants, and your neighbor who doesn’t take out his trash: can any of these people ever receive the kingdom of God like children?
I’ll admit: we believers don’t make it easy for the fallen to let this Jesus pick them up. Pastors sometimes talk like oblique jerks playing “I’ve got a secret.” People like me are hypocrites; people like you may not follow through with the walk to match the talk. Folks who hold themselves up as living to a higher standard fall hard, and other folks are watching: folks who may not know this Jesus and aren’t sure they want to if the best the faithful can do is us. No wonder it seems so tough for people to come back to the faith after they’ve fallen away.
Read up on those verses again and maybe key in on a few key words: “Jesus was indignant.” He got downright ticked off that His disciples were preventing innocent, curious children from coming up to see Him. There was a larger lesson to teach and He wanted to teach it to the children so He could teach it to all of us.
If someone can’t get to Jesus, Jesus gets indignant about that.
You’ve heard the platitude: you’re enough for Jesus to die for. Yet it’s true. It’s what He did; it’s what really happened. It’s not just something said to buck you up: it’s the God’s-honest truth. What’s more, when the world or the world’s inhabitants (like us) create barriers that prevent repentent, curious, humble sinners from coming to Him for forgiveness and healing, Jesus gets indignant. Beware to those in His way.
Jesus wants you. Jesus wants me. Jesus wants Josh Duggar and anyone he flirted with on Ashley Madison. Jesus wants Hillary Clinton and her server experts, Iranian mullahs, unemployed people, the woman who reads Tarot every morning, and every other kind of person you or I can think of to come to Him like innocent children and ask Him to simply love us. When we do that, we find He already does and for a very long time now.
Lord, I come to You broken, hurting and needing You. Forgive me and share Yourself with me, and help me to start again new today.
Read Mark 10, verses 17-31.