“Grow up!” We hear it constantly when we are very young, but approaching adulthood. We need to act our age. We are supposed to become mature adults. We are supposed to become self-sufficient, able and responsible.
That’s why it was so shocking when Jesus said to his disciples and the crowds who listened to his sermon that day, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
I mean, he totally turned upside down a basic moral and social code that our entire society is founded upon. Of course Jesus was not asking us to become childish and immature. However, what He was saying was that in terms of our propensity for self-reliance and pride of life as adults, he expects us to let go of all of that and become reliant upon God and dependent on Him for everything in our lives. Easier said than done.
And the children seemed so unimportant in comparison to thousands of adults that clammored to get close to the newly famous rabbi from Nazareth. Those who work with kids don’t usually get equal status to those who work with adults.
My wife works with children in a daycare she runs out of our home. She used to lead adult women’s ministry. As you might guess, she used to get alot of praise and respect when she had the more flashly role with adults. But now that she works with kids, there are times she has had to deal with a measure of disrespect and patronization from others.
That’s how mature men and women see things. But God said in I Samuel 16:7 “man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart.” King David was just a boy when Samuel anointed him as the next king. But God saw what no one else did – he saw the heart. I may look like an accomplished and succesful person now that I am a published author, licensed minister, filmmaker, blah, blah, blah. Maybe someday I will have a bunch of letters after my name. But in the whole heavenly scheme of things, I have been demoted since the days when I worked with youth and children. If I hope to be great, Jesus says I must become less than others.
If we really believed in the Kingdom of God, we would be scrapping and clawing to outserve each other and descend that proberbial corporate ladder, looking to elevate each other above ourselves and promote each other above ourselves.
Woe. What a thought. Are we impressed with the things that impress the hosts of heaven? Are the great cloud of witnesses above us looking down with admiration of how humble we keep our own hearts? Or are they embarrased for us “There he goes again thinking this whole deal is about him instead of God. What a fool!”
I just hope I can keep my focus on Him… And be like what he has only, ever, always wanted me to be… like a child.