Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.’ Luke 18:17
Jesus calls us to trust him with the faith of a child. He couldn't really have stated it any more plainly than he does in our Gospel reading for today. Sadly though, as we are so often prone to doing, one of the adults has to go and try to make belonging to the kingdom of God harder than it needs to be.
“Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Luke 18:18 asks a wealthy, self made young man. Jesus could have pointed out that he has just stated it clearly in the previous verses. Instead he asks the young man to remember the commandments. Relieved, our rich young friend is able to boast that he has been good at keeping these all his life. To his dismay, Jesus points out that he still lacks one thing. “Sell all that you own and distribute the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” Luke 18:22. What Jesus is asking of his rich young friend is that he should put into practice what he has already stated in verse 17, that is to trust him with the accepting and uncomplicated faith of a child.
Just like the rich young ruler, all too often, we too make the mistake of making the gift of eternal life something that we have to earn. Perhaps it’s because deep down we all really believe that there is no such thing as a free lunch. The good news is that although not much may be free, eternal life is. Jesus has paid the price that we might freely receive it. All that is required of us is that we believe, and with the faith of a child put our trust in Jesus. It really is that simple, otherwise Jesus wouldn’t have said so.
Till next time. Andrew
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Rev. Andrew Smith
Vicar of Light in the Hills