Do you ever have days where you wish you weren’t an adult? Whether it’s the pressure to perform at school or work, a busy schedule, or the responsibility to provide for your family, all of us at times have wished we could go back to the carefree days of our youth. In today’s passage, Jesus had a stern rebuke for the disciples that was like a cool glass of water for those weary from the world of responsibility and adulthood: Don’t grow up!
- What about being a grown-up has you longing for the days of your youth? Do you desire less responsibility, fewer expectations, more playtime?
READ THE WORD: MARK 10:13-16 (ESV)
13 And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them.14 But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. 15 Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” 16 And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- How did the disciples react when the children were being brought to Jesus? Why do you think they were bothered?
- In verse 15, Jesus declared that unless you receive the kingdom of God like a child, you shall not enter it. What about children qualifies them for entry into Jesus’ kingdom? Compare and contrast the ways children and adults interact with the world (i.e. respond to authority, experience new things, etc.). How might a child be more receptive to Jesus?
- How would you describe Jesus’ interactions with the children in verse 16? Do you desire this kind of closeness with God the Father?
- In what ways are you too grown up, spiritually speaking? What would receiving Jesus like a child look like practically for you today? How would you interact differently with God?
RESPOND TO GOD
In the grown-up world, being competent and independent is critical to making life work. In Jesus’ kingdom it can be a hindrance. Like a child who is utterly dependent on his parents, Jesus longs for us to come to him with the same attitude of daily reliance, closeness, and childlike trust.
- Ask God to give you the simple faith you need trust him and depend upon him.
- Take time to confess to the Lord where an independent spirit has blocked your intimacy with him and climb into his lap like a dearly beloved child.