What kind of person do you have to be to receive the kingdom of God – His reign and influence in your life? Jesus tells us in Luke 18:17: “Anyone who doesn’t receive the kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.” Four examples in the chapter illustrate His point. Think of a four-year-old child as you read these.
Example one: The widow who kept coming to a judge with her case, until he gave her justice because he was worn out by her constant pleas. “Learn a lesson from this unjust judge. Even he rendered a just decision in the end. So don’t you think God will surely give justice to His chosen people who cry out to Him day and night? Will He keep putting them off? I tell you, He will grant justice to them quickly” (Luke 18:6-8). When small children ask their parents for something, they ask anticipating that they’ll get it, not that it’s going to take months or years. Do we have faith to come to God in that way?
Example two: A religious leader and a tax collector – one reeling off his many achievements, while the other beats his chest in sorrow and appeals to God for mercy. Children don’t have a long list of accomplishments to their names; all they can do is depend on the adults around them to give them what they need. It reminds me of the line in the song: “Empty-handed but alive in Your hands”.
Example three: Jesus encouraging the rich man to sell what he had. Children don’t own entire houses in which to horde possessions; they live much more simply. Are we content with food and clothing (1 Timothy 6:6-8), or is what we have never enough?
Example four: The blind man, begging at the roadside. There was no welfare system back then. Someone with a disability’s only option was to beg; they had nothing to offer. Similar to the tax collector, all this man could do was appeal for mercy, and he got it. He received his sight.
Let’s come to God in childlike trust – not depending on anything of our own, but completely on Him. Let’s receive what He’s got for us.