Scripture: St. Mark 10:13-16
Who actually "follows Jesus" in Mark’s writings? It is not the disciples. That is for sure. They kept misunderstanding Jesus' ministry and mission for 3 years. They kept getting His theology wrong to boot. Not once in Mark’s writings are they actually described as "following Jesus," but a few situations in the scriptures we discover a few who did.
- In Mark 15 an anonymous man did follow Jesus.
- In Mark 14 an anonymous woman understood that Jesus the crucified was marked as the Son of the living God.
- In Mark 10 we discover that a blind beggar followed him.
We understand that he was on his way to the cross and his death. Jesus' time on earth was short, yet he had one final lesson that he had to get across to his disciples and you and me: The only hope we have to enter his eternal kingdom is to come as a little child, a child who has not been misguided by the ways of the world. We must have the humility of a little child.
While there is the child who is an exhibitionist, such children are rare and almost all are products of misunderstanding. They have not yet learned to think in terms of place pride or prestige, nor have they learned to discover their importance.
They are a child of obedience. While a child often does not obey, their instinct is to obey. They have not yet learned false pride and independence that separates them from others. They are a child of trust. It seems that they accept the authority of all others and have confidence.
An example of trust and confidence is when daddy throws them up in the air as they return to him all fear is gone when they see the smile on his face and the chuckle in his voice. They have not yet learned to expect the worlds dangers and still believe in the best of all people.
And that trust in people can be a dangerous thing, because not all adults are trustworthy.
A blessing of a child is that they have a very short memory. They have not yet learned to hold grudge or harbor bitterness.
Even when a child is playing with another and they have a spat over a toy and come crying saying, “I won’t play with him again!” Before their eyes are clear of tears, they are playing together as if nothing ever happened. Praise God for the little children and their short memory.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we adults could have maintained that childlike attitude when our feelings get hurt and we don’t get our way? Jesus in our text seeks to teach his disciples that we must maintain our childlike understandings when involved with others in our adult world.
Regardless of our age and our knowledge the surest way to enter the kingdom of God is like a little child. We confess and believe in him as youth or adults, but somewhere in life we have lost that childlike understanding. Our world would be a better place if we consciously kept the humility, the trust, and short memory of the wrongs of life. It appears often that we hold onto misunderstandings and misguided remarks while Jesus our lord does not remember our failures when He forgives us.
Can you imagine with me what this world might be like if we all acted as little children act in love, and obedience without and reservation?
Let us pray!