1 Sept 2013 – Children and Rich Men
As Jesus nears his destination of Jerusalem and his goal of the cross in Luke 18:15-34, despite what the disciples might think, he is not too busy, proud or important to spend time blessing the children who are brought to him. In fact he says, ‘to such belong the kingdom of God’. On the other hand, for a rich person it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than to enter the kingdom.
What is it about a child that grants them such easy access to the kingdom of God? What is it about a rich man that makes it so difficult for him to enter the kingdom? The one who has so much and seems to have done so well, finds himself lacking in ‘one thing’. Yet, the one who is so small and has so little has all that is necessary, and is given everything!
We may or may not consider ourselves to be ‘rich’, but if we cling tightly and hold on dearly to what we do have we will find it difficult, impossible even, to receive the great gifts of the kingdom and eternal life from the King. Our hands might be full of worldly ‘treasure’, but our hearts will be sad and empty. Yet, joy and assurance are given to those who come as the hymn describes, ‘nothing in my hands I bring, simply to the cross I cling.’
There is only one way to inherit eternal life – it is a free gift from God, who gave his one and only Son. This grace gift is to be received in faith, like that of a child, wholly dependent and trusting. To such as these belongs the kingdom of God.