Raised from the Ashes: Lent – Day 33
“15 Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”
It’s All About Jesus
There are very few things at which we adults do our best when acting like a child. In fact, it’s really quite annoying when you see a grown up behaving in a child like manner. St. Paul said, When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.” (1 Cor. 11:13). I think we all know what Paul meant by that. But, there is this one thing in life in which we must think like a child – our faith.
I’m a real theology and history nut. I love to study different theologies. I like to understand why different Christians believe as they do, and learn how they got to those beliefs. One thing I’ve observed about almost all church theologies; they’ve made things more complicated than necessary. Jesus said our faith must be a “childlike” one. But, what is a childlike faith?
I think a childlike faith can best be described as the opposite of the Jewish faith. The Old Testament faith of the Jewish people was a faith steeped in complicated laws and traditions. Certainly not all laws and traditions are bad, but the New Testament believer in Jesus Christ doesn’t need to learn all those complicated laws and rituals. In Jesus all those laws are fulfilled, and Jesus simplified it for all of us when he gave the Great Commandment recorded in Matthew 22; that we should love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love others the same.
The Simplicity of Faith
Notice how simple that is? John 3:16 isn’t too complicated either; “…whoever believes in Him shall not perish.” We might also consider that the early church grew at an amazing rate the first few decades, as the simple gospel message was spread throughout the Roman world. In fact, there weren’t even any books or letters written, that we would know as a part of scripture, for almost two decades after Jesus’ death. And, it took over 300 years before there was an official New Testament at all.
How did the church spread so quickly and so powerfully so as to transform the known world at the time? Because the message was simple – Jesus is God, the Messiah, savior of the world. Over two thousand years, various church groups have complicated things with defining the faith in more detail, and some of that was necessary as many false teachings arose leading people astray. However, we do best to remember, whatever church or denomination we belong to, that the essence of the Christian faith is simple; we must believe like a child and just accept it – believe in God, and that Jesus is God come into our world to save us from our sins.
Our Lenten season is moving quickly toward Holy Week, when we will remember the last week of Jesus’ life leading to the cross. Won’t you spend some time the remainder of this week thinking about your faith? Have you allowed it to become too complicated? If so, spend some time meditating on the Holy name of Jesus, the name by which all are saved. It’s all about Jesus. He’s the one who will raise us from the ashes.
Grace & Peace for a Holy Lent,
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.”