When I get home from work every night, my 3 year old son Joshua acknowledges my return. When I say “acknowledges,” I mean ACKNOWLEDGES in the same way Dino Flintstone welcomes home Fred after he returns from Mr. Slate’s quarry. Josh’s enthusiasm always brings a smile to my face. It also reminds me of how different children are than adults.
Children are not as concerned about appearances as adults are. If they are happy, they let you know. If they are sad, they let you know. If they are bored, they let you know. Most children have not yet learned the very “adult” art of hiding our emotions. Josh’s unfettered greeting of me every evening is just another reminder of that.
Last Sunday in our “A Father’s Stories” series of messages at Wildwood, I spoke on Luke 19:1-10 – Jesus interaction with Zacchaeus. As we talked about on Sunday, Zacchaeus is a great example to all of us of what it looks like to have a child-like faith when it comes to following Christ. First of all, Zacchaeus (like a child) had a very acute sense of his spiritual need. Being a tax collector, Zacchaeus was a social outcast and publicly labeled “sinner” by the religious people around him. Zacchaeus probably wanted to see Christ partly because of Christ’s reputation of being a “friend of sinners and tax collectors” (Luke 7:34). In addition to his sense of spiritual need, however, Zacchaeus pursued Christ in a radical, rather undignified way for a grown man. Like a child, Zacchaeus climbed a tree to catch a glimpse of the Savior. Jesus rewards Zaccaeus’s child-like faith by not only granting Zacchaeus a glimpse, but offering Him an eternal relationship with the God of the universe. What grace!
As we applied this message for our lives today we talked about how following Christ with a child-like faith means that we relate to God with a “I don’t care what others may think, I am going to follow Christ” attitude . . . an attitude that recognizes our need and “runs” to meet Christ daily in a regular walk with Him. This kind of unfettered response to the Savior does not hide our emotions as we relate to Him. We also saw that as we follow Him with a child-like faith, we need to prepare to “Pass through the eye of a needle,” seeing Christ do through us what would be impossible otherwise, as our lives are transformed from the inside out.
As you have reflected on the message from Sunday, how have you applied it? Feel free to join the conversation in the comments section below.