Lessons From Children

For the last few weeks during my family’s evening devotional time we’ve been studying Luke together.
Tonight’s reading was Luke chapter 18. Every time I read chapter 18, the verse that always sticks out to me is verse 17 where Jesus says 
Surely, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” 
Now before I jump right into what that verse means to me, in case you aren’t familiar with the context, let me fill you in. 
In this chapter, Jesus’ disciples see people bringing their babies to Jesus for him to lay his hands on. They see him surrounded by children and it says they rebuked them. 
To which Jesus replies with the above verse. 
All through my early years of bible class and reading in children’s bible story picture books, I’ve heard this story told many times. But usually it was told along the lines of “Jesus loves the little children”  and a picture of Jesus with children on his lap and his disciples looking angry. 
Which yes, Jesus does love the little children. Very much so.
But I’ve kept this idea/image of this story in my mind for a long time. Taking it as simply as “Yeah, Jesus loves children.”
 But it wasn’t till recently the meaning of the verse has really changed to me. 
Of all the things Jesus calls His people to be, isn’t it crazy that becoming like a little child is one of them? 
I’ve been thinking a lot about what exactly it means to “become like children” and why He would call us to.

While I was thinking about this, I made a list of some qualities that little children have that I think we often lose as we grow up.  
The first thing that immediately came to my mind was simple minded.

For the most part, children are very simple minded. Taking whatever they’re told as truth without hardly questioning it. (No, I’m not saying we’re called to be gullible) But maybe we don’t always need to read into it all. 
Not that there is anything wrong with studying deep into his word and contemplating all the different meanings something can have.
But I think we sometimes lose the simplicity of His word. We get so caught up in religion and the things that have always been taught to us, that we forget to simply read what He says and just take Him for His word. 

Another quality we all would recognize in children is how accepting of others they are. The world and all of society’s ideas of “perfect people” have yet to enter their pure minds. They befriend people without reason and they love without condition. I think we all could learn a lesson from that. Once we are exposed to society’s standards we start to pick and choose who we want to love and serve. We put conditions on our friendships and relationships. We control them ourselves, instead of allowing Him to have full control. 

Innocence. Sweet, sweet innocence. 
Various times in the New Testament Jesus commands us to be born again. Of all the ways He could have told us that our sins must be washed away, I’ve always wondered why He used the term “born again” 
(Taken out of context)
 I started thinking about the verses Luke 18:18 and John 3:3 together.
Surely, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” 

Jesus replied, ‘Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.'”

We are called to be born again. Christ washes away all of our sins and we have a new life in Him. 
We are His children, and we are called to be like children. 
Simple minded. Taking His word for what it is. 
Accepting. Refusing to see people the way society pressures us to. Giving Him control and allowing Him to use us in all the lives our paths cross.
Innocent. His blood continually making us new, killing all our sin and making us alive in Him as a new creation. A new child. Pure and innocent.
Honestly, I have no idea just what Jesus meant by saying we must become like children.
But this is what I’ve taken out of it and even if I’m wrong, I still think they’re good lessons we can learn from children. 
God bless 🙂

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