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Become Like Children


Mark 10:13-27

Over in the 5 & 6 chapter of the book of Hebrews, the Hebrew writer tells some followers of Christ that they need to “mature, grow up!”

But, here in this passage that was read, it seems that Jesus says just the opposite.

Well, the truth is, we must become like “little children” before we can “grow in Christ.”

In verse 13 apparently some parents…or whoever “they” is, were bringing their little children to Jesus…and Jesus’ disciples rebuked them.

And Jesus isn’t happy about it and He tell His disciples to “Permit the children to come to Him, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”

Now, what does He mean by that?

Most people think that when Jesus says that “the kingdom of God belongs to children” it is because little children are so honest.

Some say that when Jesus says that “the kingdom of God belongs to children” that we are to be as unselfish as they are….because little children love to share.

The key to what He means is found in verse 15. Notice what he says:

“Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it {at all.}

The key in the text is the word “receive.”

What is it about adults that make it hard for us to receive the kingdom?

And as He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and {began} asking Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

Mark says this man was rich;  Matthew says he was young; and Luke says he was a ruler.

He comes to Jesus and he has power, position, youth, health, riches…but he is not satisfied.

And Jesus responds in verse 18. And he says, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.”

But look now at Jesus’ response to this young man’s question about “what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” Vs. 19:

“You know the commandments, Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your Father and Mother.”

And look at this young man’s reply…and this is important.

He comes to Jesus…and he asks Jesus “what He must do to inherit eternal life?”

And brethren, what this young man is really asking is, “What is the price?” “What is the cost?” “What must I do to earn eternal life?”

And some today, perhaps some of us do the same thing.

Some of us, just like this young man, think that heaven is just one more payment away.

Now look at verse 21. “And looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him.”

In fact, the Bible says that this young man’s “face fell and he went away grieved for he was one who owned much property.”

Now look at verse 23.

Jesus lets this young man go and then Jesus looks around and says to his disciples, “How hard it will be for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God.”

They were amazed because Jesus contradicted what they had always been taught and believed.”

They, like so many others, have this idea that since this guy is rich he must therefore have God’s favor.

Notice what Jesus says in verse 24. He says: “Children…”

He says, “Children…”

“Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

Now most people don’t hear this.

He said, “It is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God, period.”

The problem with having too much money, is that when you feel empty you can always go and buy a new toy that temporarily dulls the pain that was supposed to drive you to God.

Now this wasn’t easy for the disciples to hear…so look at what they ask in verse 26: “Then who can be saved?”

Look at Jesus’ answer in verse 27:  “With men it is impossible…”

But look at what Jesus says next.

“…but not with God; for all things are possible with God.”

And grace is not what some think it is.

When it comes to saving ourselves we are totally helpless.

And it is that attitude that causes Jesus to say that “we need to become like children.”

And so Jesus says, “Iinstead of thinking you can earn salvation yourself…become like children and realize you are helpless…and be willing to receive that which God is willing to give.

And unless we become like children and receive the salvation that God, by His grace, gives to us…then like Jesus says back in verse 13…we shall not enter into the kingdom of God.

People, and perhaps some of us, struggle with this.

And once you become a child of God, the Hebrew writer says “grow up”, mature so that you can teach others what they need to do to be a child of God too.