November 14 - Luke 18:15-17

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Luke 18:15-17 – Little Children

Jesus’ teaching on appropriate behavior in us as we look to the coming of the kingdom of God has been preparation, persistence in prayer, and humility. Now he calls children to him and reminds us that we should have the demeanor of a child in order to enter the kingdom.

What childlike qualities is he looking for in us? Trust, openness, excitement, willingness, love without limitations, acceptance. Children have a simple faith that does not include doubt. They don’t claim to know anything about God or make any demands of Him, they don’t brag or boast about their own goodness, they aren't attached to things, so can love freely.

Though we sometimes see Jesus healing people from afar, such as the time he healed the ten lepers, most of the time he uses touch to offer restoration. In this passage we find that parents are bringing their babies to Jesus for his touch.

The disciples felt it was their duty to protect Jesus from random people approaching him, especially as they got closer to Jerusalem. Through these last few days, they would have felt the impending change that was about to happen. Though they wouldn't necessarily know what was coming, they knew that the intensity of Jesus’ teaching was growing. At the same time, more and more people were following them, the crowds were growing and Jesus wasn't often given time to be alone.

These babies weren't sick or in need of healing, the parents just wanted to have a blessing for them and the disciples probably thought Jesus didn't have time for this.

They were wrong. There was a lesson to be learned that day. Jesus gathered children of all ages to him and reminded the disciples and all who heard him that with the spirit of a child, we should all approach the kingdom.

In the last verse of this short pericope, Jesus made an interesting statement. “I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it” (Luke 18:17).  The kingdom of God is both here in the present and there in the future. We receive it now … we will enter it then.