My thoughts on the Kingdom of God, the Church, continue as I read what Jesus said here in Matthew 19. What does it mean that His Kingdom is made up of children, and poor people?
Well, first of all, it isn’t. But Jesus teaches us an important lesson about attitude here. Child-like faith is not childish faith.
I’m with my niece from Texas and her two young daughters this weekend. This is only the second time I’ve been with her 18 month old, so it took a while for her to warm up to me. But I’m proud to tell you I can now peel a banana for her, and actually pick her up on occasion. We’re becoming best buds!
Last night we went to my sister’s house for a cookout. There were about 50 people there, none of whom were familiar to Colette. And even though there were children running around the back yard, Colette stayed close to Mommy. She’d venture out a bit, but if things got confusing, she’d run to her mom.
At one point, I held out my arms to “rescue” her when she found herself among grown ups she didn’t know. She looked at me and I could tell she knew who I was. But she shook her head no, then ran to Mommy. She wasn’t upset. She just wanted to be close to her mother.
I think that’s like us who are in God’s family. We live life, venture out, but we also stay close to our Heavenly Parent because when things get confusing, we know where to go. We know who to trust.
Of course, that’s not all there is to a relationship with God. As we mature, our walk with Him deepens, our faith is strengthened, and we become farmers and fishermen like I talked about the other day.
But Jesus is teaching us that our attitude toward Him should be as pure, as innocent, and as complete as a child’s trust in her parent. I never saw Colette even consider handling her fear on her own. Never saw her try to manufacture confidence or power in herself. Her 18 month old self understood what some of us have forgotten: Complete trust outside ourselves. I believe that’s what God wants of us, too. Just to trust Him. Period. Not to depend on our selves.
Or our possessions.
That wealthy young man was undoubtedly a good man. But he wanted to hold on to God and his money. He wanted to follow Jesus, but he also wanted one foot in the world, too. Jesus tells us that’s not how it can be in His Kingdom.
Everything we have, everything we are, has to be given to Him, nothing held back. There will be people in heaven who had healthy bank accounts while living here. But they will be the ones who held Jesus more tightly than they did their dollar bills. And Jesus warns us that’s not always easy to do.
The Kingdom of God is made up of us who have placed our trust, our very lives in the hands of the Creator. Like a child in the arms of the Father, nothing held back.
The Kingdom of God is a great place to live.