Enter the Kingdom like a Child

Date: 2 Oct 2022

Speaker: Ps Luwin Wong

Sermon Text: Luke 18:9–19:27

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Grow up! Don’t be a baby. Learn to be an adult. We’ve all heard this growing up. Women still say it to their middle-aged husbands from time to time. We spend our entire lives trying to do just that – to be independent, to stand on our own two feet, to be self-reliant, and self-sufficient. To be the opposite of a hapless, nursing, infant.

So what are we to make of Jesus’ words in Luke 18:17?

17 Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”

He says it more pointedly in Matthew 18:3

And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

In our text today, Jesus is not referring to a child as in a toddler. He’s referring to an infant. That’s the reference point for the disciples.

15 Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them

What are we to make of Jesus’ call for us to become infants in order to enter the kingdom of God?

The way to move forward in the world, we are told, the way to advance and become great in the world is to be as resourceful, as powerful, as independent as you can be. And so we try our lives to be that way. That’s why there still exists, even in 2022, a stigma against going to therapy. “Wah that guy needs professional help to function in life, must be something wrong.” Needing help is seen as a weakness. We don’t need help, we’re not babies, you see.

And that’s also partly why even though a buzzword for the church today is “authenticity”, Christians in church still don’t want to be vulnerable and confess our sins to one another. Nope, nothing to share, don’t need your prayers, I’m good. Nothing I can’t handle. I got it under control. I can stop whenever I want to. I can deal with it. I don’t need your help. Thank you very much.

We don’t want to be weak, we don’t want to be a wimpy kid.