Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.. – Luke 18:17
People, one day, brought their little children to Jesus in order for Him to touch them and bless them. As the people brought their children forward for a blessing, the apostles rebuked them and tried to prohibit access to Jesus. Jesus, in turn, rebuked the apostles and commanded them to allow the children to come unto Him. He then told all present that unless they receive the kingdom of God, as do little children, no one would enter into the kingdom of God.
Keeping in line with our continuing heart-searching inquiries, we have to pause today and ask ourselves the BIG question, Are we receiving the kingdom of God, as does a little child, and thereby entering into it, or not? What does it mean to receive the kingdom of God as a little child? (Remember that just prior to this passage, Jesus said that the kingdom of God is within you.)
What is it that little kids do regarding their parents? They trust in them wholeheartedly and don’t doubt that their parents will do for them what they say they will do. Thus, Jesus refers, here, to our faith in Him and what the Father promised all His children….eternal life! For a person to even come to God, one must believe that He exists, by faith! Also, God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. If you doubt God’s existence, then how will you trust Him in the first place? It is so easy to “believe” in someone you handle with your five senses, but what about the One who can be heard, felt, His handiwork seen, but not visible to the naked eye or able to be held by hand? You have to trust Him!
When God says He gives eternal life to all who call on the name of the LORD, those that believe on and in Him like a little child believes his/her earthly Father will inherit the kingdom of God and enter therein.
Now, let’s examine Jesus’ words that the kingdom of God is within us. How is the kingdom of God within us? The Bible teaches us that we, converts being discipled by Jesus, are the temple of the Holy Spirit. When we are saved by God’s grace through faith in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus and His resurrection, God’s Spirit comes and takes up residence in our spirit. We become one just as Jesus and the Father are one. If we don’t trust God to do this like a child believes its father, then we were never saved in the first place. The kingdom of God that should’ve been within us is not, and we can’t enter into that kingdom because of our unbelief. That’s the problem with most adults and people over the age of 12. They think too much. They trust in their senses and what science dictates as real and what society accepts as real rather than taking that first step of faith and trusting in the invisible Creator to be their Lord and Savior!
Don’t trust in your senses, but trust in the saving grace of Jesus the Messiah. The Bible teaches us to walk by faith and not by sight. If we walk in God’s Spirit, then we won’t fulfill the sensual desires that keep us from believing in God to do for us as He’s promised. We’ll also enter into His kingdom through our child-like faith.
Father, thank You for allowing me to enter into Your kingdom. I did so by Your taking up residence in me through Your Spirit. You chose to make me Your new dwelling place on earth, along with all disciples of Jesus. For so long, I trusted in my knowledge, skills, and abilities and thought that I could do it all, except save myself. I walked in pride and arrogance and had to learn the hard way that I cannot do it on my own. You proclaimed through the prophet Zechariah that it’s not by my power or might but by Your Spirit, O Lord of hosts. You’d think that we’d learn that lesson early on and truly trust in You and trust You to provide for our every need, as Your holy Word declares, but we don’t. Why? Because we, as I did for so long, think we can do it all! How sad! If we could do it, then Jesus died in vain. If we could do it, then You’d need not exist. We know that You won’t share Your glory with another, so You made it impossible for man to accomplish salvation on His own. You don’t need us for anything, but You desire us to trust in You, believe on You, and rely upon You, just as little children rely upon and trust their earthly parents for everything. Increase my faith! Help me to be more child-like in my walk and relationship with You. Thanks, Dad. In Jesus’ name, Amen.