You have to admit that sometimes Jesus said some funny things. That statement about blind guides “straining out a gnat but swallowing a camel” and that it was “easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God” rate right up there at the top. Jesus would often use way out illustrations to make profound points. When it comes to a humble faith I think he hit the nail on the head in Luke 13 when he exhorted the crowds that unless they “became like little children they would never enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” Become like little children? The old King James translation of the Greek is even more radical in reading that “except you be converted and become like little children.” Considering all the times that Jesus allowed little children into his presence and rebuked those who hindered the kiddos, you get the feel that children are pretty important to the creator of the cosmos.
Why the necessity of this type of change? Do we really grasp what he’s saying? In one way it doesn’t make sense. Aren’t we to “mature” in our faith? Maybe part of the problem is in wrongly connecting that statement with being childish instead of childlike. A childish person is someone who chooses to live a selfish and arrogant life. This type of person throws a fit when she or he doesn’t get their way and expects the entire world to meet their desires. They know it all and expect all to fall in line with their step.
On the other hand, the childlike heart that Christ was getting at is someone who chooses to humble themselves and trust God. There is no self-righteousness, selfishness, or arrogance in this. A childlike faith chooses the humble path away from knowing it all to a total obedience and dependence on God and His word. In other words, they choose to believe. I mean really believe. It is amazing how easy it is for children to get the most basic truths of Christ and follow Him. Sin, God’s broken heart at sin, basic consequences of that sin, and finally God’s enormous grace in salvation for those who would receive it.
Sophisticated adults sometimes don’t get that. It’s not that they can’t understand the concept, but rather many times it’s because they don’t want to. It goes against one’s pride to become childlike. Even for the Christ follower who has been born again it can be an ongoing challenge to remain in a childlike faith with your maker. However, freedom and kingdom advancement come through regular surrender of our pride in simple obedience to Christ. It takes faith and that’s what Christ is looking for.
So how is your journey going? Is it marked by your own agenda or by simple faith in Christ and obedience to His lead? The truth of the matter is that when we follow His call the journey and reward are greater than we can imagine. So what are you waiting for? How can you step out in childlike faith today? The Master is calling.
Check out the clip below from our Vacation Bible School at the Crossings. Our Youth Minister, Chris, did a tremendous job writing the program from scratch this year with an allegorical slant from Star Wars. Here I’m playfully acting out a dark Sith Lord (Sin and Temptation) who is trying to pursued Duke Spiritwalker (actually played by one of my sons) to give into temptation and follow me as we rule the Galaxy together as Father and Son. (aHahahahaha)