(Today's post by Chris Queen)
So, after a couple of weeks digging into the heavy prophecies of Jeremiah, we’re back in the Gospel of Matthew. And there’s a lot going on in chapter 19 – several short episodes in which Jesus dispenses wisdom.
I bet I can guess what you’re thinking… Great, the single guy is going to lecture us on divorce. Actually, I’m staying away from those verses altogether and concentrating on two seemingly unrelated passages that tie together in a way you’ve probably never thought of before.
First, Jesus’ followers are bringing their kids to Him for His blessing, and Jesus has to set the disciples straight (surprise, surprise):
13 Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them.
14 Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” 15 When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.
Next, a rich man comes up to Jesus to talk about achieving eternal life:
16 Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”
17 “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.”
18 “Which ones?” he inquired.
Jesus replied, “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, 19 honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”
20 “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?”
21 Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.
Notice the contrast here. We have these little kids who approach Jesus, and then we have the rich guy who goes away sad because there’s no get-rich-quick scheme to get into heaven.
Think back to when you were a kid. Life was carefree, wasn’t it? You didn’t have to worry about stuff (even though chances are you had plenty of it). You weren’t driven by achievement or wealth. You didn’t have the burdens of things that got in the way of enjoying life.
In adulthood, things do get in the way of our enjoyment sometimes. Paying the bills, putting dinner on the table, disciplining the kids, running errands – stuff like that. We grown-ups don’t exactly get to live carefree lives. The burdens of life weigh on us.
Jesus wants us to approach Him like little kids. The burdens of our life were never meant to get in the way of our faith. In fact, Jesus tells us to give our worries and cares to Him so He can carry them for us.
Don’t you want to live the unburdened life? (Did I even have to ask?) The only way to truly do so is to give your burdens to Jesus and come to Him with the carefree faith of a child. That’s my challenge to you – and to myself – today.