Receiving Jesus

Jesus told his disciples that “whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me” (Mark 9:37). How often do we think of “receiving Jesus” in this way? Do we welcome the children in our lives? Do we really think they can bring God to us?

As a youth minister and a father I spend lots of time with children, but I wonder if I’ve ever really let them bring Jesus to me. Most of the time I think I’m bringing Jesus to them. I need to seriously look and listen for the ways Jesus comes to me through the youth if I ever hope to serve them as I’m called to do. Hopefully this Easter season will provide me with the grace I need.

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One response to “Receiving Jesus

  1. Sue

    I was contemplating this a while back, as I prepared a sermon using Mark 10:13-16. In that passage, Jesus was teaching the disciples, and they were so bent on hearing exactly what Jesus wanted to tell them that they were pushing the children aside so they couldn’t interrupt. (Ok, that’s MY version of the story, anyway…)

    Jesus got VERY upset with the disciples for shoving them aside, and I went back to Mark 9 as a reason for His displeasure. Clearly, in Mark 9:36 and onward, Jesus told the children how important children are to the Kingdom.

    Now, I know you don’t like the Message, but I do think this version of the Mark 10 passage is a good one:

    [The people brought children to Jesus, hoping He might touch them. The disciples shooed them off. But Jesus was irate and let them know it: “Don’t push these children away. Don’t ever get between them and Me. These children are at the very center of life in the Kingdom. Mark this: Unless you accept God’s kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you’ll never get in.” (MSG)]

    “accept God’s Kingdom in the simplicity of a child” – It took me a very long time to begin to understand that, and I think it’s something we learn by experience and not from books. Consider the children: They don’t hold grudges until adults teach them how; They love with abandon; They aren’t afraid to make mistakes; They tend to believe everything will work out fine; They know the value of PLAY.

    It’s life that teaches us to distrust, to think we need to know everything, to be afraid of being caught in a mistake, to hold back our hearts until we have assurance we won’t get hurt. It takes the down-parts of life to teach us that we aren’t good enough, or have to be in control all the time; and it takes the Grace of God and the Power of the Holy Spirit to break the hold those things can have on us.

    You’re seeking Jesus in the youth around you; so, of course, you’ll find Him there. Scripture does say, “You will seek Me and find me, when you search for Me with all of your heart.” Jer 29:13

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