Oh, to Have Child-like Faith

  • Peter Friesen, Author
  • Retired Minister

Luke 18:15-17… 15) People were also bringing babies to Jesus for him to place his hands on them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. 16) But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17) Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” (NIV)

When Jesus was preaching and teaching during His time on earth, parents would bring their children on their first birthday so that they would receive the blessing of Christ. That is what fathers and mothers sought Jesus to do for their children. That is what mom and dad do today when they dedicate or consecrate their children to the Lord. That is what I believe these mothers wanted from Jesus in the gospel story found in your Bible.

The disciples thought that Jesus already had a busy schedule, and surely, He could do without the mothers bring their children to Him. You see they thought that Jesus was weary, He was overworked, He was worn out. He should not be bothered by the noise of little children running about.

Often at home, we may say to a little child, “do not bother mommy or daddy, we are tired and have other things on our mind.” Maybe the disciples felt the same way. But what did Jesus say? In other words, what Jesus is telling us is that we must have the faith of a little child to be part of the kingdom of God.

Sounds rather strange… To become like a little child before we can enter heaven… I am not sure I understand! But look at the story again! Little children came to Jesus without pretense and fear. They had complete faith that he would receive them and treat them kindly.

They marvel at the beauty of a ladybug in their hand. They enjoy the aftermath of the worst blizzard. When we were young, did we ever doubt where the next meal was going to come from or if we would have clothes to wear? If we ever went away with our parents, we believed that they knew where they were going and that they would find their way back home again. Our trust in our parents was absolute… our trust in Christ should be just as certain as a child’s trust in their parents. They are not like us older folks who live in a world that has grown old and tired. Children live in a world that has a sort of an afterglow where God is never far away.

There are times when children will disobey their parents, they will whimper, they will complain… but their character and personality are to obey. They understand that they should submit to the parents’ wishes, they are not content when they break the rules. There are times when parents are somewhat unjust to their children. We expect from them a degree of obedience, of wholesome manners, of improved language, of trust which we sometimes fail to do ourselves. They understand that mom and dad’s words should be obeyed.

But even when parents fall short, the child has an amazing capacity to forgive and to forget. Many times, we admonishment them for doing the very things we are guilty of. There have been times when others have treated us rather disrespectfully. We find it difficult to forgive. But the child forgives and forgets and does not even realize it when they are young. It would be a much better world if we would forgive and forget as a child does.

Jesus reminds us that we must have a child-like spirit to enter heaven. We must become as a little child. In other words, we must be willing to forgive and to forget, that after all is the child-like spirit. That it is a sin when we live only for ourselves. When we shut our ears to the voice of God as it is written in the Scriptures.

When we fail to practice the love and mercy taught by Jesus in the Bible. But on the other hand, salvation, the way to heaven, comes to us when we put our child-like trust in Jesus Christ. When we tell others with our mouth that Jesus Christ is our Lord and believe in our own heart that God has raised Him from the dead, we will be saved. For it is by believing in our hearts that we become right with God, and when we tell others with our mouth about our salvation, that brings confirmation to our faith…

To God Be Glory Great Things He Has Done.

Would you pray this prayer with me…? “Lord Jesus come into my heart. Forgive my sins. I want my life to change. My thoughts and my attitude need to change. I do not have peace in my heart. I really want that peace, joy, and happiness that I long for. Please let the holy Spirit help me be the kind of Christian that will bring honor to Your Name.” Amen