READ: Mark 10:13-16
- We often impose our view of children on texts such as this one. “Receive the Kingdom like a child” becomes a cue to elevate childlike faith, or child-like naiveté, or childish innocence. But that is to read back into the text an idealized view of children that didn’t exist in Jesus’ day. Children had no inherent rights. A father determined at birth whether or not to even keep the child.
- So, what does Jesus mean when He says we must “receive the Kingdom of God like a child”? If a child was often no better than a slave, then to “receive like a child” must mean to enter the Kingdom in total submission to the King. This isn’t an act of faith or an act of innocent trust. This is an act of submission. Jesus’ call on our lives, as disciples, is to be totally abandoned in allegiance to Him and Him alone.
- From the actions of Jesus (laying hands, blessing, etc.), it is apparent that allegiance to the King isn’t demeaning. It doesn’t imply subjection or a totalitarian hold one one’s life. Instead, it convincingly communicates that God loves His children and that they are always in His care. The best place for anyone to be is in the Kingdom under the King’s care.
- What’s personal opinion concerning why Jesus used children as examples?
- Why do you think the idea of submission to a King rubs us the wrong way?
- How is it possible to be a member of a kingdom and not be in total submission to the King?
PRAY: Thank God for His place in the universe. Pray that you can find peace in submitting to the King. Ask God to help us live out exemplary lives as we model life in the Kingdom of God.