Stewardship (It's not about money!)
“Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3 (ESV)
This was an answer Jesus gave to the disciple’s question, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Now, we can’t read their minds, but I have sneaking suspicion this was not just a hunger for knowledge. It was more than likely jockeying for position.
Well, Jesus called a little child to him and said to them directly, “Unless you turn…you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Do you feel a little rebuke in that like I do? Maybe I feel that because I think they are thinking like I probably would have been thinking. Ouch!
Another time people were bringing their children to Jesus so he could touch them. They just wanted him to bless them. The disciples jumped in starting to push them away. “He’s too busy.” Maybe they said, “He’s too important for this.” Maybe they thought if they were the best protector, they might get a special place in this kingdom Jesus talked about. Jesus rebuked them again said, “Stop trying to micro-manage my life and let these children come to me. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” (That first part was the LLI version…Lewis Loose Interpretation) Luke 18:17 (ESV)
What does it mean to receive the kingdom of God like a child or to turn and become like children? In Matthew 18 Jesus continues with, “Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” It has something to do with humility. The children Jesus was talking about were humble in this way.
- They came to Jesus, and they were not concerned about what others might think. They just wanted to be close to Jesus. The disciples followed Jesus around and sometimes it became a game to get a place, a position.
- The child doesn’t hesitate to express their need. They will tell you when they hurt, when they need something. On the other hand we sometimes are too proud to acknowledge we have a need.
- The children run to Jesus. In our pride we wait for Jesus to come to us.
So, what do we do? We have to “turn” or “change.” We can’t just keep on being the way we have been. It is a decision we make…to change. Will we? Will we stop worrying about what others think of us and come to Jesus as a child? Will we stop hanging back waiting on Jesus to come to us when he thinks we’re worthy and just run to him, and tell him our need. That’s what he wants.
PRAYER: Jesus, please forgive me for my prideful attitude. I do love you, but I need to change the way I show my love. Instead of you being a last resort after I’ve tried everything, I’m going to run to you early with my dreams, my needs, my hurts, my life. AMEN.