Daily Reading & Meditation

Saturday (March 1): Receive the kingdom of God like a child

Scripture: Mark 10:13-16

13 And they were bringing children to him, that he might touch them; and the disciples rebuked them. 14 But when Jesus saw it he was indignant, and said to them, "Let the children come to me, do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God. 15 Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it." 16 And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands upon them.

Meditation: Do you seek to help others draw near to the Lord Jesus? The parents who brought their children to Jesus wanted Jesus to lay his hands upon them. They knew of the healing power, both physical and spiritual, which came from Jesus' touch. Jesus, in turn, rebuked his disciples for hindering the children from coming. No doubt the disciples wanted to shield Jesus from the nuisance of noisy children. But Jesus delighted in the children and demonstrated that God's love has ample room for everyone. No one is unimportant to God. He comes to each person individually that he might touch them with his healing love and power. Do you show kindness, interest, and care for the youth you encounter in your neighborhood, home, and church? And do you pray for young people that they may come to know the love of Jesus Christ and grow in wisdom and maturity as his disciples?

Why does Jesus say that we must receive the kingdom of God like a child (Mark 10:15)? In the ancient world children were at the bottom of the social ladder. They had no rights or privileges of their own and they had no means or resources to care for themselves. They were totally dependent on their parents for everything they needed. Scripture teaches us that we are totally dependent on God as our eternal Father and Provider. We owe our very existence to him because he is the Creator, Author, and Sustainer of life. We could not find our way to God if he did not first seek us out and draw us to himself. That is why the Father in heaven sent his only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus, to show us the way to the Father.

The Lord Jesus came to set us free from slavery to sin, Satan, and death, and to adopt us as children of God his beloved sons and daughters. Jesus taught his disciples to not only honor and respect God as our eternal Father, but to trust in him with great confidence for everything we need just as children naturally trust in their parents for all that they need. God gives generously to those who put their trust in him, who approach him with child-like simplicity and humility, and with expectant faith that he will treat them as a loving and merciful Father rather than a cold and stern judge or tyrant. Do you trust your heavenly Father to give you what you need to live as his son or daughter?

Our great privilege and responsibility is to live as true and faithful sons and daughters of God and as loyal citizens and ambassadors of his heavenly kingdom. And our chief responsibility is to pass on the faith, wisdom, and gifts which we have received from God to our young people and to those who do not yet know God that they may find true joy and everlasting life in the Lord Jesus Christ. Are you ready and eager to pass on your faith and experience of God's action in your life to others, especially to the young who need guidance, encouragement, and the godly example and witness of those who have discovered the true source of happiness in knowing, loving, and serving God?

"Lord Jesus, may we never hinder our youth from coming to you to receive your blessing, help, and abundant life. Make our youth strong in faith, hope, and love that they may find true joy and fulfillment in following you as their Lord and Savior. And as we grow with age, may we never lose that child-like simplicity and humility which draws us ever deeper into your loving presence."

Psalm 141:1-3,8

1 I call upon you, O LORD; make haste to me! Give ear to my voice, when I call to you!
2 Let my prayer be counted as incense before you, and the lifting up of my hands as an evening sacrifice!
3 Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD, keep watch over the door of my lips!
8 But my eyes are toward you, O LORD God; in you I seek refuge; leave me not defenseless!


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author Don Schwager © 2014 Servants of the Word
Scripture quotations from Common Bible: Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1973, and Ignatius Edition of the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 2006, by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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