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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


 

Daily Boost

 

September 14, 2012 - Childlike Faith

By Greg Ebie

We don’t often think of Jesus being angry. But here is one time in Scripture when Jesus was angry over something that might just surprise you.

“People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it’” (Mark 10:13-15, NIV).

Matthew and Luke both have the same story, but both skip over Jesus’ reaction to what the disciples did. Without Mark’s input, we might get the picture of Jesus just nicely saying, “Peter, John, hey guys, please don’t forbid the children coming to Me.” That’s more or less how I imagine the scene being played out; from my years growing up in Sunday School with the flannel board cutouts, my teachers never let on that Jesus was angry with anyone.

Yet, Jesus was indignant — irate, irritated, very displeased. In a word, Jesus was angry. But why? It’s obvious Jesus’ anger was directed at the disciples and not toward the children. Is Jesus simply upset at the disciples’ refusal to let the kids get to Him? I think it’s more than that. I think Jesus’ anger is directed toward having the wrong assumption as to how you get to Jesus, or specifically, how you enter the kingdom of God.

Jesus said the way to enter the Kingdom was to become like one of these kids, to have childlike faith. Yet the disciples thought it took more than that. Surely you needed to have some clout or something you could offer as your ticket in. The evidence of the disciples’ attitude is found in what Mark says happens next. A rich man falls at Jesus’ feet and asks what he must do to inherit eternal life. None of the disciples stopped this guy; they let him through.

I’m struck by Jesus’ response to this man. Mark says Jesus looked at him and loved him. Jesus is not angry that the man thought he could earn his way into the Kingdom or did not come to Him with childlike faith. Jesus loved this guy.

Jesus’ anger was not toward the children (and yet we can be so easily irritated toward kids sometimes). Nor was Jesus angry with someone who came to Him in the wrong way. Jesus’ anger was directed toward His followers who should have known better, but placed their own conditions and preconceived ideas on what it takes to gain acceptance by Jesus.

Are we ever deserving of Jesus anger? Do we ever show preference to some people because of what we think they can offer us or the church? Jesus says everyone is welcomed with nothing more than childlike faith. What do you think?

— D. Greg Ebie is senior pastor of Life Church (Assemblies of God) in Garrettsville, Ohio, and an author of Daily Bread devotionals.

 

 

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