Like a child

Pastor Adrian Pratap preaches on Mark 10:13-16 and the importance of becoming like a child in order to inherit the Kingdom of God.

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Adrian Pratap


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We've just been talking about children this morning and how they're all going back to school tomorrow who's excited about kids going back to school tomorrow every parent put your hand up kids are like I don't have to go back to school with every parent's like yes yes but half of them are also teachers and they're saying no no I don't want your kids it's funny you know um it's interesting the kind of reactions we can have to when a kid walks in the room hey some of us are like oh look aren't they so cute they're amazing they're full of life and joy and some of us just turn around and run away because they're so cute and full of life and joy and they they're not predictable they do whatever the heck they want don't they yeah we're talking about kids not older kids oh that's just misbehavior in older kids okay but we're talking about kids right pre-teens all right so the ones who don't really know what that what they're doing they're just they're just crazy they are Isaac are you crazy yes yes you are he looks small and cute and cuddly but at home every parent knows what it's like hey um we're going to be talking about children this morning from God's word this morning so if you have your Bibles and you should would you go to Mark chapter 10 and just turn to verse 13. when you're ready we will read from there put your hands on your head when you're there this is just like being back in school isn't it don't put your hand on somebody else's head follow the instructions you guys would have been terrible as students I reckon all right Mark chapter 10. from verse 13 and it says and they were bringing children to him that is Jesus that he might touch them and the disciples rebuked them but when Jesus saw it he was indignant and said to them let the children come to me do not hinder them for to such belongs the kingdom of God truly I say to you whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it and it took them in his arms and blessed them laying his hands on them I just think this is a really interesting picture you know this is a busy time in Jesus's Ministry and he's in this busy place and as he's sitting there you've got parents bringing their children to Jesus saying hey would you bless my child what parent if Jesus was here in in physical form would not do the same every single one of you who loves their children will be like I want my child to be blessed by Jesus right absolutely and so that's what these parents were doing something normal and natural and quite right to be doing um but these parents were also the ones that were comfortable with kids and the disciples are like no Jesus is a busy guy he's a busy man he's got some really important things to do now is not the time or the place for you to be bringing your kids to Jesus do you know who he is and of course you could say well yes that's why they were bringing him to Jesus but from the disciples perspective they were saying well he's a very important man you've got to make an appointment okay you've got to have a look at his schedule and make sure that there's a spot there that he might be able to spend some time and by the way um unless if you've got some significant things going on just just bring it turn and turning up with your little children who are snotty probably full of covert and noisy and and and unpredictable now is not the time okay we need to be uh focusing in on more serious issues like the Romans and how Jesus is going to go um go and drive the Romans out because at this point the disciples and and quite a few of the Jews still believe that Jesus was there to drive the Romans out of Jerusalem okay so this is the sort of the context that's going on here and we can we can we can all put our souls in those shoes sometimes because we can sometimes look at our children and say not not now not now my son comes to me and says hey Dad would you play a game with me and I've said not now I was like I've got a couple of things I just need to do and I have to catch myself when I do that and and it's sometimes it is appropriate to say not now because he wants to eat chocolate for breakfast okay and the answer has to be not now Isaac that's a dumb idea um your teeth are all going to fall out and that's not good okay because it's it's a health thing right but often he just wants my attention often he just wants my time and it it amazes me about children that when they walk in the door if they know you they don't wait for you to smile to them first they just walk in face a light with a smile or come in and give you a cuddle whatever okay they're not like us adults where we turn up and our money is going to smile at you if you smile at me first I'm gonna win it to handshake and do that handshake and decide whether we like each other today or not okay well how am I how's my morning been today that's going to determine how much I squeeze your hand okay is that just me or is that you guys as well no if you get a squeezy handshake for me it's because I love you all right um but sometimes we can be a little bit aloof right um we've got busy things going on we're important people we've got stuff that is happening and we've got to get past all that before we'll just offer that smile before we'll offer that hug see children aren't politically correct are they every let me clarify this every single person in this room has experience with children whether you've had them or not you were a child I hope okay maybe you weren't um every single person in this room has had experience with children whether as a child or you've had your own or you've you've you've been inflicted by others or or however it's worked for you okay every single person had that experience and children have this no filter mentality hey like you walk into a room and so the most inappropriate things and get away with it because they're kids right and so when they walk into that room and they say Oh Daddy why is that man so fat that is like I wish I could blend into the walls right now but it's an honest question that a child has and they just ask that question out loud and their voice Echoes around the room yeah mums and dads you can relate right and you're just like I don't know whose child that is I wish they would just learn how to discipline their children okay children are messy they're they're irrational at times they they do things that we don't expect and that make us uncomfortable right which is make what makes them so adorable but also so challenging at the same time yeah and I think the disciples understood that they experienced that they did not want unpredictableness coming at Jesus at this time because they were trying to get Jesus on mission right you must come and with us and do this work and Jesus was like hold the phone hold on hold on hold on hold on whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it whoa that's heavy in the middle of all of this busyness right it would just seem like this wasn't even official type of Ministry for Jesus he was having a break okay in between teaching and he was just sitting around hanging out with the kids and the disciples were like come on man you haven't got time for that there's there's lots of more important things we've got we've got a schedule there's an agenda there's dates times and places we've got stuff to do right and it's not even Child Safe it doesn't doesn't comply with the policy we shouldn't be handling kids and Jesus was just like actually at the moment who would whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it well that's a bit of a salivation issue that's that's not just a nice to have this is this is key right this is a core thing that Jesus is commenting on and so Jesus saw all this going on and he thought this is the teachable moment ever had that with your kids maybe it was that time when they did walk into the room and ask why that man was so fat you could hang your head in shame and embarrassment first thing number two get in the car get crank at them number three teachable moment why is it not cool to do that and Jesus saw this as a teachable moment whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it you know we can make many um we could read a lot into this passage and and think oh well maybe it was because Jesus was comparing this to Children it might have been because he was he was wanting us to be humble which is not an incorrect assumption but that's not what scripture says it says whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it I often find that the Bible love to explain itself and so there's elsewhere that we can go to because if that's what Jesus is saying then that's his heart right and I often find that the plain reading is the best reading and so what I'm taking away from that section is that Jesus wants his disciples that's us to be like a like a child to be like children okay in order to be able to enter into his kingdom well what what is it that he's talking about what aspects of that childlike mentality is he talking about is he talking about the inappropriate behavior is he talking about running around it's not he knows is he talking about being loud when you should be quiet I don't think that's what he's talking about and so I think it's important for us to go to scripture so that we can learn about what he's saying ah okay can you come up with the next slide for me please Matthew 18. let's turn to Matthew 18. first six verses and this is the episode where a couple of the disciples decide that it's really important for them to figure out who's the greatest of them in the Kingdom of Heaven remember that story okay and obviously again this is a very busy part of Jesus's Ministry his his whole lead up is going into Jerusalem he's about to be crucified but shortly before then these two disciples come to Jesus and they say this in Matthew 18 verses 1 through to six at that time the disciples came to Jesus saying who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven and calling to him that's calling to himself that's Jesus a child he put him in the midst of them and said truly I say to you unless you turn and become like children you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven whoever receives one such child in my name receives me but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin it would be better for him to have a great Millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea now that seems pretty extreme what Jesus is basically saying there is that in order to be considered great in the Kingdom of Heaven you've got to become like a child and if you're anybody who's going to cause that person who's become like a child to stray is better if they go and drown in the ocean that doesn't seem like a very loving thing to say does it right Jesus said at least right there I'm not saying it Jesus said it so what's he saying According To Jesus to truly become great in the Kingdom we have to become like children and we have to Humble ourselves so humility is a key part of being great in the Kingdom of Heaven in order to come to Jesus and say who if my brother and I is greater automatically there's not a lot of humility in that question is there is there to even conceive that you could be great in the Kingdom there's not a lot of humility in that and Jesus took this another teachable moment to redirect these disciples you know he didn't rebuke them for their question because kids have questions all right they're always asking questions until you haven't got any answers for them and you have to say the dreaded words I don't know and then the next question is but why and then you have to say I still don't know children are great at causing us adults to come to the end of ourselves right and that's uncomfortable and we don't we don't like it because we are faced with questions that we can't answer and sometimes we're envious because we got awarded nothing to ask that question and figure it out I love how kids drive us to to ask more questions and I think one of the key things that Jesus is saying here is entirely appropriate for you to come and ask questions but when you ask questions humble yourself like a child see your child has no pretense when they come to you to ask a question they just want to know I remember when my little girl was only one or two years old to sit on the couch backwards because it was fun to throw herself off the couch backwards into Daddy's arms oh my goodness there's a lot of trust in that isn't there how many of you would feel comfortable with someone that you let's say wives how much do you trust your husband to catch you when you destroy yourself off the couch backwards without any warning all right but kids they just do that because there's this this innocent trust isn't there and Jesus is saying to us we've got to Humble ourselves like children like that when it comes to him when it comes to the father when it comes to the kingdom when he's not saying with everything no he's talking about himself but he's coming to the kingdom we've got to have that kind of trust we've got to have that kind of humility when we approach him so these children were coming to Jesus and there was there was no preconceived notion or idea that they had of who he was they didn't know he was the Messiah they didn't know that he just happened to be the king of the universe right if you were to go and have an audience with the King of England today there'll be a whole lot of pub and ceremony and security stuff that you would have to go to before you could even get an audience and that was only if you were even on the invite list right and I think sometimes doing that gives us perspective because it puts us in our proper place he's royalty right I'm just me I don't just get to turn up and say hey King um how you going man want to hang out watch some Netflix that's not how this works right there's a respect and a reverence that is rightly supposed to be there now interesting fun fact I think Jesus outranks the king of England he outranks everybody but how approachable was he he said no no don't take the kids away bring them to me I want them to come to me with all of their noise with all of their questions with all of their random hugs with all of their proclamations of fat people it doesn't matter who they are or what they're saying they've got no idea who I am and that's just fine that is just fine because there's honesty there us adults we're so good at putting on a face aren't we at putting on an idea of who we think we want to be and so we come and we project that children don't have that pretense they don't care they just come and say dude why are you so bald so I grew too tall for my hair that's why it could happen to you too they're fun and they're outrageous and they're ridiculous and they're inappropriate and that's what makes them so lovely but they're so vulnerable right aren't they people can take advantage of children so much and we hear so many horror stories of that happening but Jesus is not saying that we've got to be like children to everybody who's saying that we should be like children to him is he someone you can trust not theoretically is he someone you can trust in your experience is he someone you can trust has he ever let you down has he ever made a promise that he has not kept has he ever done anything that is not right the Bible tells us that he is perfect I'm sorry mums and dads but you are not and you will let your kids down I've let my kids down several times already in this last week and that grows my heart and if you're honest with yourself you have done so too that makes you human but Jesus is saying we get to come and be humble with him just like a child yeah a child when they come to their father to their mother has no pretense of um the face that they should put on they don't know how to pretend to be anything more than just who they are I wonder if we have that kind of honesty when it comes to Christ it's convicting hey I mean we know that he knows all things we know that he knows all our sins and yet even as we come to Christ we try to argue with him we try to make deals with him anyone tried to bargain with God lately everyone's done it right it never goes well does it I think he's got an unfair advantage you know when we first accepted Christ into our lives as our savior we were wide-eyed with one day we were hungry to learn weren't we we think back to when you first became a Christian when you first got baptized when you're in those first few days months weeks of of being a Christian you were wide-eyed with wonder you were like what's Jesus going to do next no one had to convince you that he existed because you knew he existed right you just experienced him this is why you'd become a Christian um and and and you you were reading the Bible with expectancy right you'll want you're going to see oh what's he going to say next and how is it going to come to life because this has been your experience right geez I hope you've had that experience right and and that's where where you are at then over time something shifted and that's that's of course how children are as well we we talk about how children have this wide-eyed Wonder at the world you know my boy could sit in the car and you've got to get worried when he's quiet because his mind is going and he's like Dad where does the escalator go when it goes past the steps these are the questions right life-changing stuff but then he notices things that I don't see I've driven past it a hundred times he goes but Dad why is that tree crooked like that so what tree and why is a crooked don't talk to me I'm trying to listen to my music kids notice stuff and God's saying he wants us to have that inquisitive curiosity that we had as children he wants us to be curious about his kingdom he wants us to ask questions he wants us to read into his word and have that Wonder again and not to assume that you know what you figured something out you know they go into the children go into this world without fear they have much to fear in this world don't they but they go they go into the world like there's nothing to worry about don't they they look like they're 12 feet tall I'm bulletproof you know why dad's got me mum's gonna look after me it's all good they never say that of course they whinge at you that complain but they go into this world like they've got this because I know that if they haven't got this mum and dad have got this right does that sound familiar Jesus has sent us out into the world to make disciples of the Nations and he says it's going to be hard it's going to be real hard as a matter of fact they're going to persecute you they're going to kill you they're going to maim you they're going to torture you they're going to make life miserable for you but do it for my sake and I'm going to be with you all the time why do we need to hear that is so that we can go into the world Brave 12 foot tall and know that when it all comes apart God's got this because that's how children operate he's not saying you should go and do that with every aspect of your life is that you should go and do that with the kingdom right this is Kingdom specific okay so when you go out into the world are you worried about what people are going to say are you going to worry about what you're going to say to people about Jesus kids don't worry about that they just go and say Jesus loves you and I'm like oh I mean I uh I dig it I'm like oh what is this person going to say at the checkout that my my daughter has just said Jesus loves you and you know uh I hope she's not gonna be offended all of these things go through your head right kids don't care if something has been good they'll tell you it's been good if something's being bad that tell you it's horrible how could you let us on a sandwich has no nutritional value thank you and I think this abandoned this this this this this beautiful passionate innocence this wide-eyedness when it comes to Children is exactly what Jesus was talking about when he says humble yourself yes there are a lot of things that kind of come at you they're going to resist you that are going to be against you stop worrying that's my job that's my job as a parent as a father is to look out for you but also my job is to put you in situations that will stretch you that will grow you that will be hard any parent who hasn't done that for their kids is not parenting well right I put my kids in situations where I know they're going to have to spin their wheels a bit sometimes they have to figure things out because that's what builds resilience right they've got to figure things out and God does that to us if I can do it as a fallen human being how much more is God going to do that for us so the humility of a child has no pretense of greatness that I think there's something all of us walk around this world thinking we are something all of us we do it because we have experience we have capability we have knowledge We Have Skills we might not think we're the best at something but we think we are something because the opposite of that is being nothing and nobody wants to be nothing but God says if you're going to be great in the Kingdom of Heaven stop worrying about you being something because your something is nothing in the Kingdom of Heaven and that's humbling isn't it so your qualifications your knowledge of the scriptures your 50 years of ministry experience counts for deadly squat in the Kingdom of Heaven what counts is how you present yourself before the Living God humbly present yourself before the Living God all of who I am what I do what I know is useful but doesn't count as something so I've got some questions that I've been asking myself lately and I wonder if it's worthwhile all of us asking these questions of ourselves the first one is are you righteous or self-righteous when I get offended about things I wonder is this offense because it's an offense to God or is an offense to me and if it's an offense to me why do I care about it so much how is it going to affect me and my pride am I right with God or am I right with myself second one is who provides for you Adrian I think I have some skills I've I've you know in previous life I was an I.T expert and and and did very well for myself and and earned lots of money and in love my job didn't work a day in my life because I got paid to do my hobby but it wasn't a guy that was providing for me it was me nothing wrong with having high earning jobs and things like that but if that's what you see then that's you you don't need God and you'll never be more than what you have the ability to earn here's a good one when was the last time you lost an argument anybody here have the need to be right every single person put your hand up nobody likes losing an argument even if you're wrong you don't like losing an argument right it's Pride isn't it I can't we we've got to be right and how many times do we have to have the last word that's hitting a bit closer to home isn't it even if we're not right I've got to have the last word when was the last time you lost an argument Jesus assigned to you it's okay to lose an argument as a matter of fact it's probably a good thing because you're acknowledging your limits you don't know everything when you walk out the door in the morning what are you expecting are you expecting something new something exciting something amazing from God are you expecting much of the same that you have a plan you have a schedule you have work you have crazy people on the road you're going to do those things go home the same old stuff what are you expecting so your child when they walk out the door they're expecting to see something amazing because they know they don't know anything they don't know everything and so they're looking at the world with new eyes every day and wondering what's going to happen next when was the last time we walked out the door like that and when was the last time you truly saw the world and not just did the the I'm gonna get the more I feel I'm going to do my groceries I'm going to park in the same general car park vicinity and if someone's not parked right I'm going to rage at that because they're not in the white lines because how dare they and then when I go out the car park I'm gonna have to wait at that dodgy light where it just takes forever to wait and I'm going to rage at that okay because how dare they not get the lights right and then I'm going to go and drive on the road to home and unpack it all and then I'm going to do my other jobs and and and and and and and and and and and and when was the last time you truly saw the world truly looked at the people who were in traffic around you who are all raging at the same stuff going because they're raging at that they've lost their perspective on life and is that you when was the last time you opened the Bible with expectancy and wonder oh that hits me every time I remember when I first became a Christian I couldn't wait the Bible was not a Dusty old book I would open the scriptures up and say what's God going to say to me because I expected that what I read will be what I experienced and it was still is when was the last time you did that what are you worried about there's lots of grown-up things to be worried about you know what kids worry about can we have takeaway today can I have chocolate for breakfast it's not a worry is it because they innately know that Mum and Dad have got this they'll make me do things that I don't want to do like go to school but mum and dad know what's best if you're worried you're not trusting that God knows what's best and when was the last time you were offended maybe it was this morning 30 seconds ago maybe it was sometime this week what was the offense I want to share a scripture with you just to close off that is not often used as an encouragement but I see so much encouragement in this for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and I looked at that last night how was that encouraging that everybody has sinned and fought short of the glory of God well it's encouraging in the context of Christ because he said let my children come if you're a child in the kingdom of God he says I see all of your mess I see all of you Mark and all of your nonsense despite all of the face that you put on and that the fact that you think you're something I know you're nothing but despite all that let the children come because you are mine is that hopeful that's more than hope isn't it and assured hope isn't it God's got this he has he might not see the answers you might not understand how it's going to work for some reason as adults we think that God has to give us a reason for why he does what he does as parents you don't always give a reason to your kids for why they have to go to school again or why they have to do their chores or why they have to do that one thing that they don't like sometimes this is just good for them to obey right and sometimes there's a bigger picture that you have a perspective on that your child will never get until they grow up like the dodgy bad things in this world I don't want my kids to have to understand that right now I'll protect that protect them from that right now but there was a sweetness and an innocence to Childhood that should be protected right but as a parent I've got to look out for them as a parent God has to look out for us he sees stuff that you and I have no idea about no idea There Are Spiritual things that are going on in our world that we can never see or understand or experience but God knows and so when he says do this you come at him like a child and say okay I mean you can kick and scream and Grumble that's your prerogative as a child but man you better be obedient because Hebrews 12 also says it's our privilege to be disciplined right and that's proof that you have a loving father because if you weren't disciplined then your loving father doesn't care about you he just lets you do whatever the heck you want we don't like discipline as a part of love but it is a part of love it's a part of fatherhood it's about a it's a part of being a child in the kingdom of God every single one of us needs to be like a child in the kingdom of God we are nothing it doesn't matter whether you're the president of the United States you are nothing in the Kingdom of Heaven we have no substance other than that which God gives us and so I see this as an incredible encourage for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God Even in our rightness that we think we have in our goodness we fall short but how good is it that he's still Our Father and you are still a child amen let's leave it there heavenly father thank you so much for being our father thank you so much for making us your children and thank you so much Lord God that you've got this that you've got us covered father I prayed for us this week as we go that we would live with that childlike wonder and faith and maybe doing some things and and branching out into some things that we've been afraid to do for so long but Lord I pray that we as a people would trust you but father I also pray that we will remember to Humble ourselves in Jesus name we pray.