Matthew 19:13-15 Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” And he laid his hands on them and went away.
The apostles assumed the little children were a nuisance to the ministry of Jesus. However Jesus takes this moment to highlight the faith he is seeking is the faith of a child. Their innocence and faith is what the kingdom of heaven is built on.
Sometimes it is easy to make the Christian faith an exercise in academics. Things like, knowing more, getting deeper, increasing disciplines, etc. can take over our understanding of what Christian growth is. However, Jesus takes this moment to correct the disciples and furthermore correct us. The Christian faith is about the innocence of childhood (Eden) restored. It’s about total dependence on Jesus for our hope and our future. It’s about positioning ourselves to be held by him, just like the parent handed their kids to Jesus. This isn’t to say that growth is a bad thing, just that growth should not be measured in knowledge but in the expressions of childlike faith. The depth of our Christian faith should result in more childlike faith steps, not more calculated and educational decisions that can be explained.
A few things…
1. I don’t want to grow up. In other words I don’t want to get to the point when my relationship with Jesus graduates to associate or accomplice. I want to stay a dependent child who needs his blessing and his presence for my future. Therefore I must commit to crawl up in his lap daily. Get in his word and listen to him. Allow his truth to touch me and impact my life.
2. I can’t create a Christian growth track that celebrates growth that does not lead to childlike faith. Any discipleship process that leads simply to more info is no discipleship process at all.
3. I must lead a life and ministry that reaches the overlooked in our society. I must lead a church that cares about kids and doesn’t marginalize them.
Father thank you for loving me and for inviting me into a relationship with you. Thank you for not letting me graduate to a place in which I am not dependent on you. Help me stay a child in regards to our relationship, even though I am a functioning adult in society. Convict me if I ever marginalize people because I don’t think they are important or might be wasting your time.