Matthew 18:4 and Matthew 19:14
Jesus says in these verses that his kingdom is characterized by people who are like children. As I read these verses, I started asking myself, “What is significant about children in the context of the kingdom of God?” I wanted to look at why children were singled out and made the example.
As a mother of two young children, the first characteristic of children that came to my mind is how dependent they are. They may have their own opinions and wills (no doubt about that!), but they depend on adults in their lives for just about everything. Nutrition. Rest. Guidance. Security. Love.
If the kingdom of heaven is comprised of those who are like children, what does that tell me? Jesus wants his kingdom members to be completely dependent on him. That doesn’t mean we lose our personalities or even our preferences. But when it all comes down to it, we’re completely and totally dependent on him for everything.
I don’t know about you, but for me, it’s easy to depend upon myself. I may not verbalize these thoughts, but I do think them more often than I like to admit: My way of life is dependent on how successful I am at my vocation. How my children turn out is dependent on how I raise them (or so I think!). Their safety is dependent on how cautious I am. My future health is dependent on what healthy choices I make.
I’m all about controlling everything around me. But when I do that, where does my utter dependence on God come in?
There is truth to some of what I described above (the Bible says we do reap what we sow); however, sometimes I take that to an extreme. It’s plain easier to TRY to control everything than to depend on Jesus, whose promises aren’t always visible. Whose timing isn’t always to my liking.
What about you? What things in your life do you need to hand over to Jesus, to become completely dependent upon him?