Hug a Child

Published on Feb 20th, 2013 by Pastor Ed Hlad | 0

I was struck the other day by the connection made by Jesus in Mark 9:33-37.  This passage tells about the time the disciples were arguing about who was the greatest.  That alone made me nervously chuckle  as I saw my own sin in their lives.  How can they be arguing about who is the greatest when they were following just a few steps behind the Creator of the Universe?  Jesus knew what they had been discussing.  I am not sure if this was because he knows all things or because he had overheard their conversation.  After all, have you ever had a discussion about who is better at something?  Do you ever remember that conversation being a quiet one?  He asks them what they were talking about.  At least at this time they were listening to their consciences because they were too embarrassed to answer.


Now Jesus could have went all Ps 8 on them.  “When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon, the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?”  Jesus could have very clearly pointed out that in light of the glory of the Creator, as seen in the creation, the fact that man has any remnant of the glory of God is only by the grace of God.  To try and boast in that remnant by trying to one up your fellow man is the ultimate display of pride.  If I was Jesus I probably would have shown the disciples up this way.  Of course that would have come out of my sinful desire to show them that I was greater than they were.


Jesus doesn’t do it that way.  He shares with them the simple truth of how the Kingdom of God works.  If they want to be great in the kingdom, and they do, then they must learn to have the same humility as Christ.  He then hugs a child and shares with them how this humility is seen in the receiving of little children.


Can we use this object lesson from Jesus to check our hearts?  As we live out our lives today are we attracted to children or do we seek to avoid them?  Are the intrusions that children make on our time today seen as a great blessing or as a hindrance to what really needs to get done?  The connection that I saw here was that people, especially children, are where God’s heart is focused.  I believe too much of our time is spent on arguing if we are the greatest or not.  We may not say it that way but we believe that our needs must be met before we minister to others, or we evaluate how church was this week by how much we were moved, or we complain how much our spouse does not meet our expectations, or how people always call at the most inconvenient time, or how people always disappoint us.  All of these are examples of us crowing…”I am the greatest…I am most important”.  When we live like this we miss Jesus’ teaching on humility.  We miss living in the Kingdom of God. We miss glorifying God by serving others.


Want some help here?  Spend some time with children.  Get on the floor and play trucks.  Play for as long as it takes for you to realize that this is not a waste of time but an opportunity to walk in the Kingdom of God where ambition is good as long as it drives you to people and not away from them.  Play as long as it takes for your heart to be be reminded that even if you walk away with sore knees this young child walks away happy and healthier.  That make it all worth it.  That glorifies God.  That is living in the Kingdom of God.

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