The Innoncence of Children…
Jesus had a special place in His heart for children:
Taking a child he placed it in their midst, and putting his arms around it he said to them, “Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but the one who sent me.” -Mark 9:36-37, NAB
One word can sum up Jesus’ teachings: love. Love God, love your neighbor, love your enemy, love the little children – Jesus loved love. He loved little children because the love they gave in return was pure and innocent.
In Matthew 18, He explains it a bit further:
At that time the disciples approached Jesus and said, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said, “Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me. -Matthew 18:1-5
As adults, our intellect can get in the way of our hearts, and it can be an obstacle to our faith. Children do not have this same obstacle. Their faith comes straight from the heart – their mind does not get in the way. For that reason, Jesus tells us to be humble and have faith like a child.
Children have a complete trust and dependence on their parents, and Jesus wants us to have that same trust and dependence in Him. He tells us, if we give Him our lives in this way, we are also giving our lives to God the Father. That is what faith is all about. We love God so much that we give it all to Him.
I would like to end with a quote from one of my favorite songs of all time, “Like a Child” by Jars of Clay:
They say that I can move the mountains,
And send them crashing into the sea,
They say that I can walk on water,
If I would follow and believe,
with faith like a child.