Luke 18:16 (New Living Translation)
I have glossed over that chunk of Scripture at least a hundred times in the past 18 years since I began reading the Bible. And what's worse, is that a mental image always comes to mind as I read it...I see the drawing of Christ laughing with children on his lap (you know that drawing-no matter your religious background you've probably seen it too). And there's nothing particularly wrong with that picture, accept that for me it waters down the "punch" this Scripture packs.
Yet in all my glossing over I have completely missed the punch and point of that part of God's Word...which ultimately means I've missed a peek into the heart of my Savior.
First of all, I think in recent years having become a parent myself I actually now get what it means to be childlike... Children are spontaneous, completely in-the moment, unpretentious, honest to a fault, receptive, accepting, and eager for one-on-one undivided attention. Second, I learned that in that days of Christ's earthly ministry, culturally speaking kids were the lowest of low...sort of in the ranks of slaves and servants.
So just in having more clarity about those two things, what Jesus was saying in that verse has way more relevance to me than it ever has before.
If I may be so bold as to paraphrase, maybe the essence of His words was something like this...when we posture ourselves before God as a child: with no standing; emptied of all worldly trappings and prestige. When we come to Him utterly raw and real. That is when we connect with Jesus and really grasp the gospel message as our own.
At least that's what it means to me. But what do I know? I'm just an adult hoping to become everyday more of a child (at heart anyway)...