The Faith of a Child

“Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” [Luke 18:17 NIV]

Photo by Adrian Cadena

I was reading in the gospel of Luke earlier this week and I was struck by the difference between how two people responded to the Word of the Lord.

Firstly there was Zechariah. An angel of the Lord appeared to him, an amazing experience to begin with, and told him his wife would have a baby in her old age. You would think that if an angel told you something directly from the Lord, you would say, ‘yes sir.’ But no, Zechariah did not believe — he doubted — and as a result was struck dumb until the promise came to pass.

On the other hand, Mary was also visited by an angel of the Lord. She was told she would conceive and give birth to the Son of God. Other than wondering how it would happen since she was a virgin, her answer was. ‘I am the Lord’s servant, may your word to me be fulfilled.’

What is the difference here? Perhaps their difference in age had a lot to do with it. Zechariah was old — with age we can become cynical, or think we know all the answers, what is and is not possible, and we can become set in our beliefs. Mary was most likely a young teenager — still full of innocent trust, not disillusioned with the world at all. She still believed anything was possible.

It just goes to show why Jesus stated the verse above. We must accept His word with the simple faith of a child — not over-think things. We need to just say ‘yes, I will receive that promise,’ and wait for it to come to pass.

Published in: on 24th September, 2012 at 10:32 am  Comments (4)  
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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. As I get older, I do find I am more cynical. I think this is because I have prayed for things so often and for so long believing that these requests would be within God’s will and the requests have never been granted. But I think there is often a good reason for this, because our thoughts are not God’s thoughts. We don’t understand God’s plan for us to do good not evil. I think that although some things we want to happen are in God’s will, He doesn’t want them to happen yet. There is a good reason why we should wait, but we don’t understand.

    • Yes, God definately acts with our highest good in mind – not that we know what that is most of the time. Sometimes I think He looks past our petty wants to the more important, eternal stuff. 🙂

  2. We were talking with my kids today about a time when my word was all they needed to back off or not wander away. Their childlike trust held them safe, as they naturally followed my instructions. As they’ve grown, the desire to challenge has set in, with discussions and disagreements and ultimately, disobedience. I long for the time when they believed and trusted me without a moment’s hesitation. How much more must God long for our childlike trust in His words to us. I’m always struck afresh by the lessons I learn about God, by being a parent. xx

    PS – They’re pretty good kids, though. We were remembering how I kept them from running away in church when they were toddlers!

    • Childlike trust is a hard thing though, isn’t it? Especially when the ‘facts’ as we seem them mount up. But the ‘truth surpasses the ‘facts’.

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