Children and their teddy bear, dressed like super heroes, flying through the clouds

Image credit: HaywireMedia on Adobe Stock

In Mark 10 Jesus said,

 “Let the children come to me, do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God.  [Or more literally, “of such is the kingdom”, like the kingdom of God consists of children.] Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”  And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands upon them.

According to Jesus, we must receive the kingdom like little children.  In Matthew, we read that we must “become like children to enter.

So how do children receive and enter?

Jesus never asked you to study Greek, Hebrew, famous theologians, church history or systematic theology, but He does ask you to study, behold, and observe things like lilies, birds, seasons, your own body, and children.

So, for a moment, let’s observe little children.

How do children receive . . .?
Well, think about it: They enter boldly and demand attention.
And this must have been one of the reasons the disciples rebuked them right before Jesus said, “Let the children come to me.” Children actually believe they are God’s gift to the world if for no other reason than that they exist.  That is: They don’t earn their value; they assume it.  They think: “Of course you should kiss me and hug me, and bless me because I’m me, and I’m wonderful and what’s a Messiah anyway?”  Jesus loved that.

I once heard of one little girl who was found spread eagle against a huge windowpane in her house while a lightning storm raged outside.  Her parents exclaimed, “What are you doing?”  She screamed back, “Mommy, Daddy – God is taking my picture!”

Children intuitively assume their own priceless value—that is, they assume the truth: “For God is not willing that one of these little ones should perish.

So, how do children enter . . . ?

When I was a child, I’d walk past secretaries, and elders, and other pastors, right into my Daddy’s office, the kingdom of the Senior Pastor of First Presbyterian Church.  I’d march right in and sit on his lap.

And Jesus said, “You must enter the kingdom like a child.”

Wow! We must enter through the outer courts, past the high priests, and the brazen altar, behind the veil, climb up on the ark of the covenant, sit on the mercy seat and say, “Daddy, I’m home!”

“You must enter the kingdom like a child.” 

The children on Jesus’ lap are not thinking, “What have I done to deserve this?” (considering the past).  They are not thinking, “What will this require of me in the future?”  They’re thinking, “I like this man with the beard.  I know Him.  He knows me.”  Eternal life is knowing Him.  Children live in that moment.

They don’t believe they’ve earned anything in the past.
They don’t worry about earning anything in the future.
They live in the moment.

And how do little children receive things?
Well, they receive everything as a gift, by grace, that’s the only way.

They receive everything by Grace because every child is completely poor. Children can’t own a house or a car or have a bank account.  Legally, they are dirt poor and so they trust and depend on their father to provide for all their needs.

You can be dirt poor and watch the sunset, hug a child, look at the Grand Canyon. You own none of those things–dirt poor, and yet rich.

Today and always may you know that you have a Heavenly Father who adores you—a Father who has given you everything you need so that you may walk boldly into the throne room and sit on His lap.  May you enjoy the gifts that He has prepared for you today and every day with childlike faith.

Believe the Gospel. Your Father is good. He loves you. Today enter through the outer courts, past the high priests, and the brazen altar, behind the veil, climb up on the ark of the covenant, sit on the mercy seat and say, “Daddy, I’m home!” and rest in His embrace.


This devotional was prepared by Kimberly Weynen, Peter Hiett’s assistant. It is primarily a compilation of excerpts from Peter Hiett’s sermon titled “Maturing into Irresponsibility.” It is just a small part of a much larger message. You can read, watch or listen to the full message here: Maturing Into Irresponsibility

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