Meditations: Luke 18:16-17

Copyright Clarissa Pardue 2014
Copyright Clarissa Pardue 2014

Luke 18:16-17
NLT

16 Then Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17 I assure you, anyone who doesn’t have their kind of faith will never get into the Kingdom of God.”

 

Matthew, Mark and Luke all share about this event, about how Jesus rebuked His disciples for trying to keep the children away. Mark and Luke both quote Jesus’ declaration that only those who have childlike faith will enter the Kingdom of God. All good students know that when the teacher repeats himself you can be sure that the information he’s giving will be on the test. So what all was Jesus saying, that God ensured it would be repeated to catch our attention?

First, any time His disciples tried to keep people from Jesus they were rebuked. Here He rebuked them and then the event was recorded repeatedly in the Gospels.

Moral: Do not stand in the way of anyone who is trying to reach Him; He does not appreciate it (and may well make an example of you for posterity’s sake).

Then He explains that the Kingdom of God belongs to those children and others like them. We cannot enter the Kingdom of God, He says, unless we have their kind of faith. This is a powerful warning. How do we heed it?

The key, of course, lies in understanding a child’s faith. A child’s faith is, in a word, absolute. The child of a normal father – even one who is only decent, rather than outstanding as a father – tends to trust his father completely. Whatever Daddy gives him he receives with confidence that it is a good thing. When Daddy holds him, he knows the world is safe. Whatever his need, he walks convinced that Daddy will fill it. That is, after all, what daddies are for.

God wants us to trust Him in just this way. He desires…demands…our absolute confidence in Him. He wants us to come before the throne of grace as boldly as any child would run to his father’s chair. He wants us to whisper in His ear, sharing as any earthly child would, telling Him about our hopes, our dreams, our needs and concerns.

He also wants us to love as freely as a child loves, throwing our arms around his neck, climbing up into His lap, playing “I love you most” with him, and in general letting Him know that He is the most important One in our whole world.

Our tendency, in today’s culture, is to rush to grow up. He says, “Come as a child.”

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C

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Trust

One of the responses I received to a One-word Challenge I offered on Facebook, “trust” is a word I couldn’t resist blogging about. I recently finished reading The Complete Jewish Bible, and it tends to use “trust” where most other translations use “faith.” It took me a while to notice it, but there is almost an easier feel when you read “trust God” as opposed to “have faith in God.” Perhaps it’s ridiculous, since they mean the same thing, but it’s true for me. “Trust God” seems easier somehow.

When I think of the word “trust,” I also go pretty directly to my life verse: Prov 3:5-6 – “Trust in the Lord…” I have broken this passage down repeatedly, looking at it from various angles, yet interestingly enough I’ve never looked up the literal definition of trust before. So today I pulled out my Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible to learn more about the Hebrew word.

#982 – batach – a primary root; prop. to hie for refuge [but not so precipitately as 2620]; fig. to trust, be confident or sure:–be bold (confident, secure, sure), careless (one, woman), put confidence, (made to) hope, (put, made to) trust

It’s interesting that it says this trust is not quite like “chacah” (2620), in that the latter word indicates fleeing to protection. Instead, this trust is more about finding our permanent refuge in God, knowing that in His presence we are as safe as a child in his father’s arms. A child riding securely in his father’s arms is confident and sure; he’s bold, secure, and free from care. Having put his trust, as well as his self, in his father’s arms, he has hope that all will be well.

This, then, is the trust our Father wants us to have in Him. He not only wants us to come as little children (Luke 18:17), He wants us to live with Him as little children in this sense, trusting Him so implicitly that we do what He tells us to, all He tells us to, when He tells us to…knowing that, when we do, everything will be all right.

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C