Luke 18:17

Verse of the Day Devotion Luke 18:17

“Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it at all.” – Luke 18:17  

Today’s verse shows how Jesus sees children and in a sense tells us how we must be in this world. It starts with the following statement. “And they were bringing even their babies to Him so that He might touch them, but when the disciples saw it, they began rebuking them.” Luke 18:15. In Matthew’s gospel, we get a clearer picture of what was happening. “Then some children were brought to Him so that He might lay His hands on them and pray; and the disciples rebuked them.” Matthew 19:13. When we put the two together, we see that people were bringing their babies, toddlers, and young children to Jesus.  There is no clarification as to the ages. Matthew and Mark say children, whereas Luke uses babies here, and then child/children in verse 17. This indicates to me that all ages of children were brought to Him. Then it is stated here in Luke that they brought them to Him to touch them.  In the nineteenth chapter of Matthew, we see that these children were brought to Jesus so He could pray for them. In essence, to bless them. But as we see at the end of verse 15, the disciples rebuked them. Now, it was quite customary in Israel to entreat Rabbis and rulers of synagogues for such a benefit; but that this was desired from Jesus even yet in the last period of His public life, in spite of the continually increasing opposition to Him, is an unequivocal evidence of the deep and favorable impression which His activity had left behind in these regions. They heard He was in the area, and they brought them to Him for a prayer and blessing.

But as we see at the end of verse 15, the disciples rebuked them in the hope of preventing them from bringing them to Jesus. Jesus, having seen and heard this told the disciples to stop. “But Jesus called for them, saying, permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it at all.” Luke 18:16-17. Mark says that they were reprimanded. “But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and said to them, permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” Mark 10:14.  There was nothing wrong being done by the parents or children.  Also, Jesus was not saying that all children, simply because they are children, have received God’s kingdom. Jesus was not attributing to children an innate goodness. Rather, he appealed to some quality possessed by little children that is essential for entering God’s kingdom.  Many see this as humility, which makes sense. Others denote simple faith free from doubt and argumentation.   I see it as without prejudice, pride, ambition, and vanity, with meekness, and humility. 

In closing, Darrell L. Bock says the following that I believe is very well said. “There are two basic lessons to be learned.  The lesson about children is that they are welcome in God’s kingdom. He is available to them. God’s care for them shows that he cares for all. The kingdom is not only for adults. And the lesson for disciples is that children are good models for a disciple. Children trust their parents and rely on them. So disciples should rely on their Father. To be a part of the kingdom, we must receive it in the way a child walks through life. Entry is blocked to those who do not trust the Father. God accepts those who run into their Father’s arms, knowing that he will care for them.” Let us trust our Father, as a small child trusts their parents, not challenging or arguing, but listening and leaning on His every word, accepting everything He says while patiently waiting for the fulfilment of the promises He gave us.  This is the attitude of the children in Jesus’ time, and this should be our attitude with our Heavenly Father.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.

Hebrews 10:36

Verse of the Day Devotion: Hebrews 10:36 

“For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.” – Hebrews 10:36

These are troubling times, and one group that is being greatly challenged are Christians.  The enemy is wreaking havoc on this world.  Christian persecution is increasing around the world, and this includes here in the United States.  Just as an example, during this pandemic, the reopening of churches in various places have stricter rules than other public gatherings.  However, the Word warns us about this.  “Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” 2 Timothy 3:12.  And again, “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.” 1 Peter 4:12-14. 

Now, what I want to do here is encourage everyone reading this.  Yes, there will be persecution and tribulation.  But we also have great promises as well.  Paul asks the following rhetorical question.  “Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” Romans 8:35.  And then he gives the answer.  “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Romans 8:38-39.  God loves us with an everlasting love.  No matter what we go through, He is with us and will help us through.  He will never leave us or forsake us.  We can call out to Him no matter what is happening.  Therefore we can get through no matter what the enemy brings our way.

Now, back to our focus verse.  “For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.“  Hebrews 10:36.  We must have patience when any form of trial comes our way.  It is important that we persevere through every trial understanding that we are not alone, for the all-powerful and all-knowing God is right there with us.  If we cannot do anything to rectify it, then we must be patient and remain calm as we lie in the hands of God and submit to His will, for we know He knows all things, nothing is a surprise to Him.  And remember, as Paul so clearly stated, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28. 

And finally, when we are patient and endure through all things that comes our way, we shall then receive what has been promised us.  That being our eternal inheritance of life in heaven with God.  In heaven we shall experience perfect love.  We shall be completely at peace and will never be troubled again.  John described this life like this.  “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” Revelation 21:1-4. 

This is ours if we stand strong and persevere through every hardship that comes our way.  These are His promises to us.  So, let us always do the will of God, never giving in to our fears but holding fast to what He has told, given, and promised us.  If we do, what an eternal future we have to look forward to.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.