Children

 

Mark 10:13-15 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 and said to them, “Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. “Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.”

Mark 10:23-27 And Jesus, looking around, said to His disciples, “How hard it will be for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!” The disciples were amazed at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” They were even more astonished and said to Him, “Then who can be saved?” Looking at them, Jesus said, “With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.”

The culture, including the disciples, seen children as less important. Jesus gets angry with the disciples because they were trying to push away the children. Jesus contrasts the culture around him and reaches down and hugs, touches, and blesses children for who they are and not for what they can give. To enter into the kingdom of God one must become like a child (have a dependence upon God like a small child depends on his mother for everything). It is impossible to ever make it into heaven on ones own merit. It is God that does the saving.

Immediately following the children episode, as Jesus gets up to go on a journey a rich man runs up requesting spiritual knowledge on how to obtain eternal life. Jesus shows him how only God is good. The rich man came with the preconceived idea that he was a model citizen and this assured him eternal life. Yes, he had kept most of the Law (outwardly) since his youth. Jesus loved him and hugged him and said there is one thing that he is lacking, “Sell all of your possessions and follow me.” The rich man than realizes all of his shortcomings. His true God is his possessions. The rich man leaves without the eternal life that he so searched for. If he would have left his earthly treasures and he would have been given a hundred fold return on his investment (10:30). Jesus than speaks about riches, how it is impossible for a rich man to enter into heaven. The disciples are amazed and figured there was no chance that any of them could have eternal life. In verse 24, Jesus reminds them of the incident with the children. He calls them “children“. With your own works it is impossible to obtain eternal life.

Man is powerless, helpless, and with out ability, when it comes to saving himself. God alone has the ability and power to give the person eternal life. An individual must come to God like a child to receive the kingdom of God. He must realize that it is God who gives the free gift of eternal life. Those who try to obtain eternal life by man’s “good works” will never ever enter into the kingdom of God. It is Christ alone that saves.

Hidden Treasure

NAU Matthew 13:44 “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

During this time, it was not unusual for people to bury their valuables in the ground. Probably the previous owner placed it there and died without anyone knowing about it. The current owner was oblivious to the treasure he had. One day a man must have cut through this field and “stumbled” upon it. He realized the true value of this treasure. With joy, he sold everything that he had so he could buy this field.This is a beautiful picture of God’s kingdom. To follow Christ is worth giving up everything, but in reality you lose nothing of true value, but gain things that you would not be able to otherwise (treasure in heaven, relationship with the creator of the universe, joy..).
Mark 1:16-20 As Jesus was going along by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew, the brother of Simon, casting a net in the sea; for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed Him. Going on a little farther, He saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who were also in the boat mending the nets. Immediately He called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and went away to follow Him.
Like the rapper Lacrae says, “Jesus used some fisherman that people thought were hazardous.” Jesus used these rough characters to be a powerful witness for Christ, because they were willing to leave everything and follow Jesus completely. They understood that this life is temporal, eternity is forever.
Mark 10:29-30 Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake, but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life.