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Childlike Faith

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What is childlike faith? You have asked a great question! Let’s dive in and talk about it!

Childlike Faith Scripture

And they were bringing children to Him so that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant…. “Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.” And He took them in His arms and began blessing them, laying His hands on them.

Mark 10:13-16

What did Jesus Mean?

People get confused by Jesus’ statement about children and the Kingdom because our culture is different than the culture Jesus lived in two thousand years ago in Palestine. 

  • Often Christian teachers say Jesus meant that children trust what their teachers and parents tell them. But then add it’s not an unthinking faith because of the teacher’s authority.
  • Other teachers say it means to just take God at His word.

I’d like to suggest a different take on this. Context is crucial in determining what Jesus meant. In Mark, every story before and after Jesus’ example receiving the Kingdom like a child has a common theme: Humility or its contrast with pride.

  • Mark 9:14-29–Jesus’ nine disciples can’t cast out a demon because they thought they could do it in their own power.
  • Mark 9:30-32–Jesus again predicts He’s going to Jerusalem to die.
  • Mark 9:33-34–Jesus catches the disciples discussing who is the greatest.
  • Mark 9:35–37–Jesus uses a child to teach that Kingdom greatness comes by serving all.
  • Mark 9:38-41–Jesus told the disciples they aren’t the only ones who can do miracles in His Name.
  • Mark 9:42-50–Jesus warns against causing any of the little ones who believe to stumble.
  • Mark 10:1-12–Jesus warns against divorce. A divorced woman in that society had low social status.
  • Mark 10:13-16–Jesus says we must receive the Kingdom of God like a child.
  • Mark 10:17-27–Jesus asks the Rich Young Ruler to sell all his possessions and follow Jesus, but he couldn’t humble himself, so he walked away.
  • Mark 10:28-31–Jesus promises future rewards for those who give up possessions now and follow Him.
  • Mark 10:32-45–Jesus again predicts His death and His mission to serve while the disciples ask for the best seats in the Kingdom. 
  • Mark 10:46-52–Jesus heals Bartimaeus of blindness, and Bartimaeus leaves his cloak (everything) behind to follow Jesus.

Unlike our society, children had no social status. So, they brought nothing to the table. The line in the song Just as I am without one plea captures the idea. We can add nothing to our salvation, and our earthly possessions can easily keep us from following Jesus.

How Can I Have the Faith of a Child?

Faith like a child, is being the last and servant of all. It involves the humility that comes from low social status. We need faith to give up the life we live now–or could live now–to serve Jesus in advancing the Kingdom of God. Pride is the common enemy that keeps us from picking up our cross and following Jesus. How

Don’t be like the Rich Young Ruler who walked away from discipleship because he had many possessions:

What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?

Mark 8:36

We invite you to watch the GREAT NEWS FOR YOU Video on this page to help you express that childlike faith and receive Jesus Christ as your savior.

We invite you to watch the “Great News” video on this page and find out more about God’s love for you and how you can receive forgiveness and eternal life – today!

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The Prayer of Salvation

Jesus, I don't know You, and I don't know what Your plan is for me. But thank you for coming to die in my place. I'm sorry for anything I've ever done wrong in my life. I don't understand how You could ever forgive me, but if You really would, I would like to accept your free gift of grace and complete forgiveness. Please come into my life and take control, and help me trust You. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

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