Summary: Child-like faith is the only faith that saves.
"Crawling Into the Kingdom"
Opening Illustration: Everything in the mouth!
As I was thinking about this message I am about to share, I couldn’t help but to think of my own daughter, Mikayla. She has no cares in this world but to be loved and fed. She has no responsibilities, no worries. And she doesn’t care one bit how much or how little money we have in the bank, or how much of an IRS return we’re going to get. No, in fact, Kayla doesn’t care if my watch is a Timex or a Rolex – it goes in her mouth all the same…
How simple a child’s life is. Her life and love are just precious. I couldn’t help but to think of her as I studied today’s passage where we see a beautiful scene of Jesus surrounded with little children and babies.
We have much to learn about the Kingdom of God. And babies can teach us something about that. Please open your Bibles to Luke 18:15-30 and we look at three basic truths about the kingdom of heaven.
Our story opens with people bringing their babies to Jesus so that He would touch them, hold them, and pray a blessing for them.
Can you imagine what this scene must have looked like? It must have been sweet…
But the disciples didn’t think so. They became irritated with the whole scene, and began rebuking the parents to back off of Jesus. They probably felt like these people were wasting Jesus’ time. They probably felt like there were other “more important people” to reach than mere babies and little children.
But Jesus wasn’t irritated at all. He wanted the children to come to Him, so He called for them to come back to Him. (v. 16-17)
As they moved on down the road, a rich young ruler approached Jesus wanting to know what he could do to inherit eternal life. (Read vv. 18-19).
Then Jesus offers a few of the 10 commandments.
The young man responded to Jesus by saying he had kept those commandments since his youth – probably since his bar mitzvah. (v. 21) (This was probably not entirely true, but Jesus lets it slide for the moment.)
Ah, but Jesus said that he lacked one thing: he needed to sell everything of his and give away the money to the poor, and come follow Him.
This brought great sadness to the young man. He was not willing to make such a drastic move, so he went away disappointed. (v. 23)
This conversation didn’t unfold the way most people expected. On top of that, Jesus said that it would be easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven.
Riches were seen by most as a clear indication of God’s blessing upon that person. Those who heard all of this became exasperated and wanted to know how anybody could be saved? (v. 26) (READ v. 27)
So when Peter reminded Jesus that they had left even their own homes to follow Him, Jesus assured him that anybody who leaves the comforts of home or even family for the sake of the kingdom of God would receive many times as much in this life, and eternal life forevermore. (vv. 29-30)
In order to enter heaven, we must come by crawling into the kingdom as a child.
1. We Crawl into the Kingdom with Simple Faith
vv. 16-17 Children illustrate the kingdom of heaven. Why or How?
· Their childlike trust
· Their ability to easily love
· Their uninhibited nature
· They are utterly dependant
· They are simple – uncomplicated
· They have no achievements to boast about
· They have no status in society
· They are often just seen, but not heard
· They own no property
· They have really no legal rights
· The only anxiety they ever have is when they are separated from Momma or Daddy… and it is soon forgotten once they are picked up.
Notice that right after this illustration, a rich young ruler approaches Jesus wanting to know what he should DO to inherit eternal life.
Unlike us, who need a little time to discern the character and motives of people, Jesus knew before He was ever approached, what this young man’s heart was like.
Take notice of some of the differences between this man and the babies Jesus just blessed:
· He was rich
· He owned much property
· He was probably a little proud of his accomplishments
· He was certainly commending of himself in v. 21
· He was in the strong, youthful prime of his life
· He was self-sufficient
· He was high in society, respected as a “ruler”
· His wealth, in most people’s eyes, seemed to indicate God’s blessings