Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” Mark 10:15.
This statement by Jesus is so counter cultural, so revolutionary, so paradoxical that most likely we read something like this and don’t even realize what we just read. To be part of God’s forever kingdom and dominion you must receive it like a child.
This is the most important question that can be asked- “How do I receive God’s kingdom?” Have you asked it? The Rich Young Ruler (Mark 10:17-31) asked this question, as did the disciples after him. “Who then can be saved?” they asked.
The answer is the child-like.
Jesus is not talking about innocence. He is not saying that to receive the Kingdom you must be pure- if this were true no one would receive the kingdom. If you’ve ever read Lord of the Flies then you know that a kingdom of children is not an innocent place. In fact it’s downright scary.
Jesus is talking about dependence. Children have no status. No rights. No merit. No big gifts or talents that they bring to the table. They haven’t earned their place. To survive they must depend fully on another. They come naked and helpless into the world. And that is how we come into the Kingdom.
When the Rich Young Ruler asked the question, Jesus told him to sell everything, give to the poor and follow him. He is pushing on the young man’s dependency. His trust. Will he depend on Jesus? Will he let go of what he is depending on (his wealth) and transfer that trust to Christ? Will you?
Paul put it this way, “Casting all your cares upon him for he cares for you.” Are you dependent upon Christ for all your cares? Have you embraced your own dependency? Your desperation? Your neediness? Have you trusted in Jesus alone for life? For freedom? For forgiveness? For the Kingdom? Or is Jesus an add-on to your own works, your effort, your plan, your agenda?
No one is a Christian without child-like dependency. Christians live in the paradox of the freedom that is found within neediness. You must be free to come broken. If you come broken you will be free.