When my son was a toddler, I played a game with him that made a big splash, literally. As I stood in the water, just a few feet from the edge of the pool, I would reach out my arms and encourage him to leap from the safe terra firma to me. I would count, "One . . two . . . THREE!" and with a giggle he would launch himself into my arms. To add some excitement, I would let his feet splash in the water just a bit.
Jesus reached His arms out to the "little children." Though His disciples felt that the children were a "bother," the Savior highly valued them and their faith (Luke 18:16-17). Unlike the pious and proud (v.9), they possessed a childlike faith marked by openness and trust. As Jesus lovingly embraced some kids, He said, "Anyone who doesn't receive the kingdom of God like a child will never enter it" (v.17).
In contrast, Luke then records Jesus' interaction with a rich religious leader. The man testified that he had kept God's "commandments since I was young" (v.21). Like the apostle Paul prior to his conversion, this man had been diligent in keeping the letter of the law (Philippians 3:6). But Jesus zeroed in on the rich leader's heart and told him to sell all his possessions and "follow Me" (Luke 18:22).
Does Christ ask every person to jettison all they own? No. This was simply a way of showing the man that he'd have to take the step of faith he desperately needed. The goal was for him to have a trusting, humble, childlike faith in the Savior.
Today, Jesus calls to you with arms outstretched. Humbly receive Him with childlike trust. Ready? One . . . two . . . three! , Tom Felten, Our Daily Journey
CLICK HERE to visit OurDailyJourney.org