by Joel Lawler
I have great admiration for really smart people. They have such an incredible gift for understanding the complexity of our world around us. Some of them also have the given gift of being able to take high level concepts and teach them to others. They break down the information into consumable bites in order to pass these ideas along. Those who can gather knowledge and communicate it in such a way are to be valued.
There are also those who believe themselves to be really bright. They believe that they have hidden truths within their minds that are far beyond the understanding of common man. Some may in fact have the ability to grasp ideas and theories. Their arrogance can render this ability useless. Even worse is when they use this gift to manipulate and control others.
Jesus was constantly being attacked by the religious experts. These people thought they knew God and yet God was with them in the flesh and they were clueless.
They believed themselves to be the holders of the keys to the kingdom of God. There is no doubt that they were very intelligent and also very disciplined. No one in their position achieved the kind of success they had without being really smart and working very hard to excel.
Parents were bringing their kids to Jesus. They wanted their kids to be around him. His followers were upset about this. They started shuffling the parents and the kids away. They thought that Jesus had more important matters to attend to and the kids were becoming a distraction. Anytime you add a bunch of kids into the mix the situation is much harder to control. There is a instant kinetic energy and spontaneity that makes adults uncomfortable.
When Jesus heard his followers telling the parents to keep their kids away. He got upset with them. He told them to allow the kids to come to him. In fact he told those around him that if they wanted to be a part of what he was doing that they were going to have to become like the kids.
As a dad, I get this. My four kids bring so much joy to me. After a long day of dealing with adults, there is nothing more I look forward to than being able to spend time with them. Each one of them has a way of making me smile. They are all four very unique and yet they have an equal place in my heart.
My youngest, Kaleb, loves to come sit in my lap. He will talk to me all about his day and I get such pleasure from looking into his blue eyes as they glimmer with excitement as he tells me of his adventures. His mom home schools him and his older brother. She is a great teacher and incorporates many adventures into the learning process and he loves to tell me all about them.
One of the things that is so great about being with my kids is that we really love each other deeply. When Jesus talks about us being like a little child and coming to him, I think of how me and my kids are with each other. They trust me and feel safe around me. They know that they are more important than anything else so they do not hesitate to interrupt whatever I have going on because they know they mean more to me than whatever it is that I am doing.
The religious leaders badgered Jesus constantly. They were trying to trip him up. His followers were always jockeying for position and trying to work their way up the ladder of importance. When my little guy comes and sits in my lap, I can see why Jesus wants us to be like him.