even when the disciples tried to stop them. Jesus knew that children matter and wanted to instill his wisdom into them too (Mark 10:13-16). There are several other instances in which Jesus models fatherhood, service, and love through children. I want to focus on two that struck me as especially meaningful.
Serving God through serving children
“He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me"
(Matthew 18:1–5, NIV)
I am not a trained Bible scholar, but when I read this verse I think that Jesus is trying to tell us to just simply chill out and serve. We shouldn’t worry about position or power, we need to serve God and others with the pure heart of a child. Think about a time when a child did something kind that was unexpected. The joy that beamed from their eyes when they brought you a hand-picked bouquet of flowers, made you breakfast or colored you a masterpiece. That is how we should feel when we serve.
Being a good role model
"If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!"
(Matthew 18:6–7, NIV)
Here we see Jesus reminding us to hold ourselves accountable for our actions. He uses hyperbole to express the magnitude of this charge. We have the wonderful, God-given privilege of showing the next generation how to be Christians. And Jesus says we will be judged most severely if we get it wrong.
As I reflect on Jesus as a model for fatherhood, I am reminded of all the times he cared for and supported women, it was a radical move during that time! He also supported and cared deeply for children. This was also a big deal in the patriarchal society he was born into. Jesus led with gentleness and caring. He had a big heart. Yet, he was no pushover. He protected and honored his Father’s house, calling the people there selling things and exchanging currency vipers (I believe this is a reference to Satan!). Jesus stood up for what was right. Jesus was humble, he didn’t require recognition for his miracles (unless it was to bring attention to God’s kingdom!). And of course, most importantly, Jesus was willing to lay down his life for each and every one of us. The ultimate sacrifice.
How can you be more like Christ today? What struck you about Jesus and his love for humanity through these scriptures? I would love to hear your thoughts!
Have a most blessed week!