Like A Little Child 1 — The Doting Father
Updated: Aug 15, 2020
Chan Gin Kai
People were also bringing babies to Jesus for him to place his hands on them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
How can anyone turn away a baby with those cute chubby cheeks? Okay, maybe when they poo or cry. But other than that, most people melt at the sight of adorable babies.
When some parents brought their babies to Jesus so he could bless them, his disciples rebuked them and shooed them away. Now why did they do that?
Never Too Busy For Us
Perhaps it was because Jesus has had one of his usual long days… healing, exorcising, preaching and debating… and his disciples wanted to protect him. Give the man a break, offer him a Kit Kat, and stop bothering him with colicky babies.
The disciples’ intentions may be good, and even noble. After all, shouldn’t we protect the ones we love? Jesus was as human as he was divine and of course he could get tired. But he wanted the little kids around him, and he “called the children to him” after the disciples tried shooing them away.
Jesus had time for the young and the old, for the big crowds and the individuals, for those in authority and the outcasts. He was focused on his mission, but he had time for the dinners and parties. He had the big picture in mind but he never neglected personal relationships.
No matter how busy or tired he was, Jesus always had room in his heart to love and give. If that’s how Jesus was despite the limitations of his physical body, imagine how God is with the unlimited power of His divine glory?
Would our omniscient God be unaware of the problems that trouble us? Would our omnipotent God lack the strength to rescue us? Would our omnipresent God be too busy to help us?
Aren’t we the ones with the jam-packed schedules? The ones juggling to balance work and family, hobbies and social life? What is so important that it takes up so much of our waking hours? The world will not ground to a halt without us. Your company or industry will move on, your children will survive, and your spouse may remarry. We’re not that important. Jesus literally had to save the world, and he still had time for people.
God is never too busy to hear us, but are we too busy pray?
Never Too Trivial For God
Perhaps the disciples thought that blessing babies was too trivial for Jesus.
Bring on the screeching demon-possessed and let Jesus show his power over evil! Bring on the hungry crowd and let Jesus show the power of his providence! Bring on the learned Pharisees and let Jesus show the power of his intellect!
Blessing babies? Tsk, anyone else can do that.
If Jesus had already done all those big and impressive things, why bother him with little things? Blessing babies wouldn’t impress the crowd as much as another great miracle. And the babies were the wrong target audience too, it’s not as though the babies could understand his preaching.
Of course Jesus wanted to convert as many as possible, and he was set on his goal to die on the cross. That’s why he came to earth, to save humanity. But even these crucial goals don’t take centrestage, as his motivation behind them is far more important — Love.
When we love someone, our goal is not to impress, but to please. Our motive is not to achieve our agenda, but to fulfil theirs. We don’t just do the big things, we’ll do the little things too.
The “don’t trouble other people” kind of mindset is so ingrained in me that I even feel that way towards God sometimes. It affects how I pray. Instead of talking freely and openly to God, I engage an “automatic filter”. I seek God’s help in what I find difficult but leave out what I can manage, I pray about what’s important and leave out what is trivial.
But God loves to hear our voices. He loves our conversations with Him. Good news or bad, mundane or exciting, important or trivial, He is interested in what we’ve got to say, and He desires to bring us joy.
This may sound funny for a middle-aged man to say, but I am an adorable child in God’s eyes. And that’s not because I’m bald as a baby and pretend that my excess lipids are baby fats. It’s because God adores us ALL.
Like a doting father to a child he loves dearly, God has all the time for us, and nothing is too trivial for Him. Pray.
Read more about ‘Like A Little Child’:
Chan Gin Kai
Gin Kai is a film producer who believes in the power of media to inspire positive changes. He has spearheaded disaster relief and capacity building projects in impoverished communities across Asia. He serves actively in the Central Christian Church and describes himself as “just a sinner who wants to get right with God”.