Nothing compares to the joy of a child. I think its a form of lunacy myself. (But I’m an old man, so what do I know.) Children love life–they are attracted to a vibrant life like bees to nectar. They breathe it, feel it, wait for it. They see it as an exclusive focus, they see nothing else. It is what they want.
I, on the other hand, weigh out my options, I compare their value and I give it some time, think about it even more, then make my decision. Children on the other hand are spontaneous and look closely at their first impressions. They trust the innate ‘gut reaction’ and will choose accordingly.
Jesus made the outrageous statement, that we are to become as children, to enter the Kingdom, where God rules. The obvious issue, is how do I get there? (Nicodemus in John 3 was the typical prototype.) Perhaps a deeper question is this, what if Jesus decided He wanted to come to my house? He knocks on the door. Mom comes to the door, kicks the dog who is barking, shouts something unintelligible and reaches for the door. She is hoping He didn’t hear her, and hopes the dog isn’t too traumatized by her feeble assault.
Jesus is incredibly gracious. As a matter of fact, He moves and conducts Himself as if He were a member of royalty. He steps into the foyer, as if He were stepping into a coronation hall. But there is absolutely no arrogance, there is nothing but kindness and gentleness in His demeanor. When He looks at the room, He is looking for people. People are His focus, pure and simple.
My religious tendencies are idiotic and misshapen. In my ‘spiritual’ world, Jesus has none of these qualities, and certainly not this approachable. I simply cannot fathom such magnificence. I have reduced Jesus down to a ‘puppet-savior’, and He is much easier to contain and understand. He now poses no threat to me, or my way of life. I may get assertive and even try to put a collar-and-leash on Him so He understands who is calling the shots.
You know what? Jesus understands people like me. He calls me ‘His brother’. Me! Full of ugliness and turmoil–His ‘brother’. But His heart even now, is reaching for the children. They have a quality that I only dream about. These children will have a grace and purity poured on them, till their clothing is soaked with His presence. They will run through a lawn sprinkler for hours!
The Kingdom is coming (actually, it is rushing) to children who will embrace Him with a love and zeal that simply doesn’t compute in our calculations. As adults, the more proficient of us, has read (and maybe written) whole books on systematic theology. We develop nuances, and are able to parse verbs from our Greek New Testaments. We are good!
But Jesus clearly rearranges the furniture. And we are definitely confused. But maybe, that is right where He wants us. His Kingdom is wide open to everyone who has the heart of a child. I suspect that Jesus has a plan that has a ‘shake me to wake me’ kind of an approach. I want to open up to all that He is doing. I need Him so much.