Reading: (Isaiah 11:6-10, Matt 18:3-6, Mark 9:35-37), Mark 10:13-16
Prop: a baby like doll
About this time, Jesus was a well-known teacher.
Everyone wanted to see him.
So, the students of Jesus were trying to protect their teacher from those who were pushing their way into the crowd.
Because people respect him and trust him, some of them were bringing their children.
They expect Jesus to place his hands on their children and bless them.
But the students were speechless.
They were like, “Don’t they know Jesus is busy? Jesus does not have time for them. These children would not even understand what Jesus is saying. So why bother?”
But Jesus was different.
He knew what they would feel if they didn’t get welcome.
Since he didn’t often get welcomed by many religious and political leaders, he knew what it felt like.
So, He started his ministry in order to welcome those who were despised and neglected.
So, when his students were stopping children coming to him, Jesus was upset. Then he told his students off:
“Let the little children come to me. Do not stop them, for the kingdom of God belongs to them. Moreover, if you also do not welcome the kingdom of God like a little child, you are not going to enter it.”
He didn’t really say these nicely.
It is because Jesus didn’t want these children to have a wrong idea about who he is. Jesus was scared of that.
So, he turned around, took the children in his arms, or placed his hands on them. Then Jesus blessed them.
For the children like them, he was willing to die and rise again.
Since they belong to him, he doesn’t want to lose any of them.
Jesus wants to make sure that these children would not get disappointed.
The kingdom of God is prepared for them from the beginning of the world.
The kingdom of God is for them because they are humble.
The kingdom of God is for those who have simple and humility in heart like that.
So, when people try to be greater in the Kingdom of God, they have to get rid of their pride, and try to serve.
So, whenever people ask Jesus about how to be the greatest, Jesus called a little child and said:
“Try to become like little children. If you don't, you are not going to enter the kingdom of God. Anyone who becomes as humble as this child is the most important in the kingdom of God. This child may not think that he is important. She may think that she is nothing. But whoever takes this kind of lowly and humble position is the greatest in the kingdom of God. And whoever welcomes a child in my name welcomes me. And whoever welcomes me welcomes God who sent me.”
The kingdom of God is all upside down.
So, the humble are more important in the kingdom of God.
So, children are important.
So, Jesus is also saying that we should treat well those who are younger than us. We should look after those who are looked down.
We should welcome those who are meek and humble, because the kingdom of God is prepared for them.
In fact, Jesus starts preaching because God’s humble people don’t know that the kingdom of God is theirs. So, Jesus shows them the character of God and the heart of God, by welcoming them.
It is important that we pray a lot.
It is important that we serve the poor.
In the same way, it is important that we have a humble heart.
The more humble you are, the more you have the kingdom of God, in a sense.
In fact, humility, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, all these things belong to the kingdom of God.
Almost every week, new people visit our church.
I know that you have tried to welcome them.
Yeah, welcome them in the name of Jesus.
By doing so, you welcome Jesus himself.
By doing so, we welcome God in our midst.
Jesus likes to recognize when he saw a humble person.
When he sees humility in people, he senses God’s joy in his soul.
Now who is this Jesus?
Jesus is called the Son of God.
It means that Jesus was also a son.
So, he likes to do what his father is doing.
He likes to talk about his good Father God.
And, he is obedient to God.
Since his daddy is God, he didn’t worry about his life.
Hey, his father is God, why should Jesus worry anything, right?
So, in a sense, he lives like a simple child.
He lives out his inner longing and desire to help people.
Then strangely, some people love to follow him and learn from him.
Some of them also support him financially.
But even when he became famous, he tried to maintain his humility and his simple life.
Then he told his followers that they don’t need to worry, because his daddy, God is taking care of them, as well.
Then, Jesus shows God’s way of doing things.
So, when we think of Jesus, we learn of the character of God.
From today’s story, we learn that God’s way of making a harmonious life of peace and healing is by welcoming those who have a low self-esteem.
So, if we want to say that we trust in Jesus and that we love Jesus, then we need to continually welcome children, friends and strangers.
Also, when we welcome a person, we welcome everyone he or she knows.
Just like our story today. Because of their children, these parents also get to see Jesus up close. Then they also learn who Jesus really is and what he is all about.
Jesus is not interested in building a group of people who would everything to protect him.
No, Jesus is interested in building a group of people who would practice random kindness to children and strangers.
Jesus is interested in building a group of people who can stop and have a time to welcome children in the name of Jesus.
So, practicing random kindness is part of what it means to follow Jesus.
Jesus is trying to build a group of children who would welcome everyone in humility and faith. If you can do that, you would melt the heart of God.
This is a great way you can bless everyone and God.
This is a simple way that you can help God build a peaceful nation.
God loves the humble.
So, to the humble, we can always say, “Don’t worry. Have faith and enjoy life. God truly loves you.”
Now we learn that Jesus welcome people whose presence is not often appreciated.
So, look around you and try to help people to feel welcome.
Interchanging smile with them, humbly help them to be part of the group.
Inform them about who God is.
Help them enjoy being with God in this beautiful nature.
Share your faith with them.
Remember that everyone is children of God.
So, we are called to welcome and bless everyone.
Having this kind of attitude is what it means to be a child of God.