I’ve been reading over this verse for a while now, and no interpretation of it has ever had me very satisfied. I never knew what “receiving the kingdom of God like a child” meant. But the other morning Kassi and I were reading something in Luke that made me think of this verse. So we flipped to a different gospel other than Luke and read it over. I had something else impact me that day while reading God’s word so I decided not to make a video about it. But today is the day!
Kassi and I read this passage in Luke 18:15-17. It says:
“People were also bringing babies to Jesus to have him touch them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
I asked Kassi what she thought it meant to “receive the kingdom of God like a child”. And she just said something to the strum of being “worry free”. And that really struck a chord with me. God does want us to behave like children. Think about how worry free children are. All of life’s hardships are never comprehended by them. They just go through life being provided for. They have a roof over their heads, friends to play with, food to eat, and a bed to sleep in. Some people out there had to be adults much earlier than I had to; and that’s unfortunate. But for me and my wife, we were beyond blessed with our upbringing, so thinking back to acting like a child made us smile.
Can you imagine not worrying about how you will provide for yourself anymore? That would be incredible. But that’s exactly what God is trying to say here! He’s calling us to trust him just as children trust their parents. Their parents don’t have to reassure the children that they paid rent that month, they just do! And if they couldn’t afford it, well then, I guess they’ve figured something else out. But none of the stress ever reaches down to the children, most of the time. All of the tough decisions are made without them and they can continue on their merry way.
God has this all under control. There’s nothing that we should be worrying about. We shouldn’t be anxious about anything, but in prayer and petition we should present our requests to the Lord (Philippians 4:6-7). When I Google’d this verse I came across this translation from the “Living Bible”. I’ve never heard of that translation, but it was very good.
Luke 18:16,17: “For the Kingdom of God belongs to men who have hearts as trusting as these little children’s. And anyone who doesn’t have their kind of faith will never get within the Kingdom’s gates.”
God is calling us to trust him – just as a father is trusted by his children. It’s simple to act like a child, so when life has you stressed out, resort to receiving the kingdom of God like a child. Trust in your heavenly father. Jeremiah 29:11 says: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
We don’t have to worry, just like your children, if you have any, will hopefully never have to worry. And how much better is God at being a Father than we ever could be. It mentions that in Luke 12:22-32, and again in Matthew 7:11.
Thank you for caring and providing for us just like we would do for our own children. Thank you for carrying the burden and making my yoke easy. I will release my worries and give them up to you, because you care for me. Help me in my struggle to not be anxious about anything. Let me continue to live out the will you have for my life without worrying about exactly what that looks like. Let me walk my path and be ready for when you are going to change my steps. In Jesus name I pray.