7702 - Persitence


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In our study through the book of Luke we are now in Luke 18. Listen to verses 15-17.

Luke 18:15 People were also bringing babies to Jesus to have him touch them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them.

Luke 18:16 But Jesus called the children to him and said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.

Luke 18:17 I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it."

The people were bringing their babies to Jesus to have him touch them. The word translated babies may also be translated infants. The parallel passage in both Matthew and Mark uses the term “little children.”

This was a social custom for parents to bring their infants or little children to a holy man for a blessing.

Jesus was a busy man and the Bible often describes the crowds of people who came to listen to his words or seek to be healed of an infirmity or disease.

Add to this scene the many parents who wanted to have their children blessed by Jesus and we may be able to understand why the disciples sought to discourage the parents from bringing their children for blessing. They were attempting to serve as some kind of protection for Jesus.

Jesus intervened and personally said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” Then he adds, “I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom like a little child will never enter it.”

Instead of being too busy for children, Jesus called for them to come near because he wanted them to experience his presence & touch.

Jesus knew a truth, which had escaped the disciples. Jesus knew what it took to become a member of the kingdom of God.

The kingdom of God will be populated by people of simple faith and trust. One does not have to be a theologian to understand the truth of God. Knowledge is not the passport required to enter the Kingdom of God.

What did Jesus mean by that term, “the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these?” –– that adults are excluded? That’s not the point Jesus is making. Jesus is teaching that the Kingdom of God requires humility and trust.

He had just previously made the statement that everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted. The nature of a small child is humility. That attitude of humility is a prerequisite for inclusion in the Kingdom. To people like this the invitation is extended to come on in.

This is in great contrast to the many adults who had callused hearts and refused to listen with open ears and minds to what Jesus was saying and doing. For them to be welcomed into the kingdom required them to examine their attitudes and to humble themselves to admit they did not know everything. They must recognize that the truth Jesus shared, though new to their ears, was indeed eternal truth. After all, the miracles he performed authenticated his authority and backed up what he taught.

A second attribute required to gain entrance into the Kingdom of God was a sincere faith and trust. When a little child trusts a person, it’s for real. A father can tell his son to jump off the porch into his arms and the son jumps. He doesn’t pause to measure the distance or the strength of his father’s muscles. He just jumps, trusting the father to grasp & hold him when he lands.

What invariably happens after the son is snugly in his father’s arms? That’s right. They are both filled with joy.

And that’s what happens when a child of any age humbles himself and trusts the promises & invitation of the heavenly Father. There is joy in heaven over the new member who enters the Kingdom.

Anyone who will not receive the Kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it. Those who wrap themselves in their self-righteous, independent attitudes and resist to believe God’s absolute truths will be excluded from the joyous, glorious Kingdom of God.

Oh friend, may you evidence humility and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, like a little child. Do not chose eternal separation from God.