Develop Child-Like Faith
Historical Background:Children in the days of Jesus were at the bottom rung of society as far as importance. They were seen as a nuisance and a drain on resources. However there was a custom that on the eve of atonement the children were brought to the religious leaders to receive a blessing.
V. 13 indicates that the bringing of children was an ongoing event. The touching of children was for Jesus to place His hands on them and bless them. The disciples probably felt that this was a nuisance, as was common in Jewish culture, and a distraction from the 'real' work of being with the Lord. The disciples showed an attitude of focusing on themselves and making them appear better, not to build up others in a self-sacrificing manner. This is still common today.
V. 14 Jesus shows that the disciples self-centeredness is not God's standard. His standard is that we are to love all, especially those marginalized by society.
V. 15 Then Jesus claims that the Kingdom can be entered only if received 'like a child.' This means to have the faith of a child or, as we say now, 'having a child-like faith.' Child-like faith is requiredfor entrance into the Kingdom.
Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the belief in things not seen.
Ephesians 2:8 (ESV)
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.
Galatians 2:16 (ESV)
yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.
1 Peter 1:5 (ESV)
who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
This passage in Mark DOESN'T mean
- that childish behavior is acceptable (1 Cor 13:11)
- that we should not seek the deeper truths of Scripture.
- that we seek dependence upon God. This is not an excuse to be negligent or lazy.
- that we trust in God
How do we develop a dependent trust in God?
- By knowing the true God
- By remembering God's works as recorded in the Bible and in our lives.
- Remember Him in our prayers.
- Remind other believers and be reminded by other believers.
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