Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Don't Try To Put God In A Box

Jesus disciples turned into Pharisees.

Luke 18:15-17 One day some parents brought their little children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them. But when the disciples saw this, they scolded the parents for bothering him.

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 those who are like these children. 17 I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.”

It is the parents versus the disciples in the scriptures today. The parents were doing what they should do, we can probably all agree that parents should bring their children to Jesus, but the disciples didn't think so.

Jesus disciples told the parents to get out of the way, Jesus was too important to be bothered with children. It seems to me that in an instant the disciples have become just the same as the Pharisees, with their rules about who could come and do what before God, they were trying to be in control.

Their culture didn't give children much in the way of rights and respect but Jesus rebuked his disciples and told them that they were way off base. He told them that God's Kingdom belongs to the childlike and that you must receive the Kingdom of God like a child.

The disciples didn't learn the first time

Luke 9:46-48 Then his disciples began arguing about which of them was the greatest. 47 But Jesus knew their thoughts, so he brought a little child to his side. 48 Then he said to them, “Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me also welcomes my Father who sent me. Whoever is the least among you is the greatest."
The disciples already had a lesson that included children but they didn't get it. Did you catch what Jesus said in verse forty-eight? They were told in the previous lesson that "anyone who welcomes a child welcomes Jesus" but now they are telling the parents to get the children out of there. Make any sense?

In both of these scriptures we can learn a valuable lesson about the importance of children to our Lord.  Jesus tells us that their demeanor is pleasing to him. Jesus wants us to come to him as an obedient, trusting child, just like a hurt child that comes for comfort in daddy arms, a child that comes in humility to their caring father after they have done wrong. Children are anxious to imitate their parents, putting on their clothes and playing dress up, Jesus wants us to be like that as well, impressionable and willing to imitate him (Ephesians 5:1, Philippians 2:5)

We can also see how quickly that we can all become religious and act like the disciples did, we like to be in control and have everything just right, problem is our idea of what is just right is usually not what God intended. It is very easy to try and push our own agenda off on God.

I need to be sensitive to your leadership Lord. Help me to resist putting you in the box and help me to stay in the center of your will.