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Jun 29 / Chuck Smith, Jr.

Day Fifty – Matthew 12:1-11

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and said, “Who then is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:1-3

Jesus did not pour cold water on the disciples’ ambition, rather he redirected it (see also Mt. 20:20-28). He turned the focus of their zeal toward humility, compassion, and the care and recovery of others. But he also made it clear that before they started thinking about who would be greatest in the kingdom, they needed to make certain that they would enter the kingdom.

For those of us who want to enter the kingdom, Jesus said that a child will show the way.

In the first-century Mediterranean world, no one was less important than a child. Yet Jesus said, in effect, “Better to have your body chopped in pieces than to mislead someone who, to you, seems insignificant.”

I happen to love children. I wish I found it as easy to feel the same understanding and compassion for adults. Even more, I wish I could have been that child Jesus called to himself. To illustrate Jesus’ point, the child only had to be what he was. He naturally had the qualities Jesus hoped to see in his disciples. And because he did not do anything to earn the privilege of being the Lord’s example, he had no reason to fear losing it.

Rest assured that the Lord’s great heart not only desires to findĀ childlike qualities in you, but also holds enough mercy to find your childish behavior either adorable, amusing, or forgivable.

O Jesus, that You can find a use for us in Your kingdom is beyond our imagination. We would think that You would first require us to undergo a thousand years of preparation and improvements. But we learn from the child in this story that You do the talking and the work. All we have to do is come when You call.

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