Jesus loves the little children! I think most people treat children as second-class citizens. But Jesus didn’t. He loved them and said they were the very center of the kingdom. If I stop and think about it, I see children carefree, giggling, happy and having fun. If I stop and consider that this is the kingdom life, It is so much more attractive to me. I have no idea what heaven will be like, but I’m entitled to dream. Everyone getting along and playing ring-around-the-rosey and laughing as they all fall down.
The people brought children to Jesus, hoping he might touch them. The disciples shooed them off. But Jesus was irate and let them know it. “Don’t push these children away. Don’t ever get between them and me. These children are at the very center of life in the kingdom. Mark this: Unless you accept God’s kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you’ll never get in.” Then, gathering the children up in his arms, he laid his hands of blessing on them. (Mark 10:13-16 The Message)
But Jesus not only loves children, He also has compassion on all people, especially those struggling between life and death, flesh and spirituality.
As he went out into the street, a man came running up, greeted him with great reverence, and asked, “Good Teacher, what must I do to get eternal life?”
Jesus said,” Why are you calling me good? No one is good, only God. You know the commandments: Don’t murder, don’t commit adultery, don’t steal, don’t lie, don’t cheat, honor your father and mother.”
He said,” Teacher, I have—from my youth—kept them all!”
Jesus looked him hard in the eye—and loved him! He said,” There’s one thing left: Go sell whatever you own and give it to the poor. All your wealth will then be heavenly wealth. And come follow me.”The man’s face clouded over. This was the last thing he expected to hear, and he walked off with a heavy heart. He was holding on tight to a lot of things, and not about to let go. (Matthew 10:17-22 The Message)
I don’t think this passage means I can’t enjoy nice things. I think it is a heart issue. Jesus wants me to be willing to help serve others, whenever He asks me to. He doesn’t want me clinging so tightly to stuff that I am not willing to do whatever it takes to serve whomever He requests. My heavenly rewards will be way greater than anything I have to give up here on earth. I do think it may be a tad bit harder for the rich, because what they have to give up is way more costlier than something I may have, but the same principle applies. Whatever the worth, the heavenly rewards will be worth way more!
Looking at his disciples, Jesus said,” Do you have any idea how difficult it is for people who ‘have it all’ to enter God’s kingdom?” The disciples couldn’t believe what they were hearing, but Jesus kept on: “You can’t imagine how difficult. I’d say it’s easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye than for the rich to get into God’s kingdom.”That set the disciples back on their heels. “Then who has any chance at all? They asked.Jesus was blunt: “no chance at all if you think you can pull it off by yourself. Every chance in the world if you let God do it.” ( Mark 10:23-27 The Message)
Jesus’ words give me hope. All have the chance to enter the kingdom, if I let God lead me in, but if I try to get in on my own efforts, it will never happen. Everything is possible with God, this is my hope!
James and John then asked to sit on the right hand and left hand of Jesus:
Jesus said,” You have no idea what you’re asking. Are you capable of drinking the cup I drink, of being baptized in the baptism I’m about to be plunged into?“Sure,” they said. “Why not?”Jesus said,” Come to think about it, you will drink the cup I drink, and be baptized in my baptism. But as to awarding places of honor, that’s not my business. There are other arrangements for that.” (Mark 10:38-40 The Message)
This conversation teaches me that I should think about things before I answer. The disciples only wanted status, so they gave the answer they thought, would get them where they wanted to go. But it was evident they did not consider what they were saying. They ended up getting the suffering, but not the outcome they wanted—a place of prestige. I need to know what I am saying fully, before I commit an answer. My words are important.
As they were leaving Jericho, they came upon a blind beggar named Bartimaeus:
When he heard that Jesus the Nazarene was passing by, he began to cry out, “Son of David, Jesus! Mercy, have mercy on me!” Many tried to hush him up, but he yelled all the louder, “Son of David! Mercy, have mercy on me!” Jesus stopped in his tracks, “Call him over.”They called him. “It’s your lucky day! Get up! He’s calling you to come!” Throwing off his coat, he was on his feet at once and came to Jesus. Jesus said,” What can I do for you?”The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.”“On your way,” said Jesus. “Your faith has saved and healed you.”In that very instant he recovered his sight and followed Jesus down the road. (Mark 10:47-52 The Message)
I should never let any one try to hush me, when I am trying to get Jesus’ attention. It takes great faith to yell out, it takes even greater faith to keep yelling, after people tell you to shut up. When Jesus called for him to come, he did not hesitate—it says at once he was on his feet. I want that kind of faith, and if I want the same results, I need that kind of faith. The kind that gets Jesus’ attention!!
Jesus was matter-of-fact: “Embrace this God-life. Really embrace it, and nothing will be too much for you. This mountain, for instance: Just say ‘Go jump in the lake’—no shuffling or shilly-shallying—and it’s as good as done. That’s why I urge you to pray for absolutely everything, ranging from small to large. Include everything as you embrace this God-life, and you’ll get God’s everything. And when you assume the posture of prayer, remember that it’s not all asking. If you have anything against someone, forgive –only then will your heavenly Father be inclined to also wipe your slate clean of sins. (Mark 11:22-26 The Message)
This is something I have been practicing lately. In my mind I cannot fathom a mountain jumping into the lake at my words. But if my mountain is a wound and I say to the wound “Be thou gone wound in the name of Jesus of Galilee”. I have that much faith. As I said before, my words are powerful, and it definitely says to speak to my issues from small to large. As my “small mountains” leap into the lake, it builds my faith to ask for bigger and bigger things.
Father God, help me to learn more and more about the God-life, and Your kingdom. You are my God in the highest! You are my mighty fortress! Blessed is Your kingdom! Glory to God in the Highest! There is not enough praise for all that You are worth! For now, and for ever more. Amen!