Sunday, June 07, 2015

This week's lesson (June 6-12): the Kingdom of God

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" -- Luke 18:15-17, NIV.
Anyone who thinks children are "innocent" and trusting" has never tried to feed them broccoli.

And they've definitely never told a child it's their bed-time.

Or warned them to stop bothering the cat.

No, Romantic poets such as Wordsworth and Blake may praise children for their "unspoiled nature -- but Jesus?

He knows full well that children don't count.

He knows they're not important -- not even to his disciples.

In short, Jesus knows they exemplify the people he's already blessed in his Sermon on the Plain:
  • "Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. 
  • "Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied. 
  • "Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.
  • "Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for you, because great is your reward in heaven" -- Luke 6:20-23, NIV.
Or as we might say, "Blessed is the three-year-old who throws a temper-tantrum in the check-out line at your local grocery store -- yes, and blessed are the parents of that child when everyone gives them the look that clearly says, 'you are a bad parent' . . .

"For you are in need of a blessing."

"And God's blessing is for those who need it."

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