John 1:35-40- SEEKING JESUS.
**The next two passages in Luke 18 transition the reader from Jesus telling parables about seeking Him, to actual events involving unnamed characters who are seeking Jesus.
- What can we learn from their experiences with Jesus to help us answer the question in John 1:38, “Then Jesus turned, and seeing them following, said to them, “What do you seek?"
**But today's discussion alters the John 1:38 question, just a bit, to ask "How" rather than "What/Who".
With that, chew on these this question as you read this summary and its passages:
1. Do you seek Jesus with a heart that is wide open in trust, belief, and dependency?
- We started with Luke 18:15-17- other accounts in Matthew 19:13-15 and Mark 10:13-16.
** The extremely clear statement in Luke 18:17 and Mark 10:15 can not be ignored!!
- We added more knowledge/understanding to the discussion with Matthew 18:1-6- This teaching is even more detailed to help us understand what it means to seek, or receive, Jesus like a child.
**It's stunning to think that this passage, in Matthew 18, came before Luke 18, but yet the disciples still rebuked the children's parents in Luke 18:15.
**We know Matthew 18 came before Luke 18 because the parallel account of Luke 18 is in Matthew 19, which is obviously after Matthew 18. Also we see the parallel of Matthew 18 in Luke 9:46-48.
Matthew 18:4 was identified by a few in the study as a key, in that it uses the word "humble". This began our conversation on what a child's heart is like. If Jesus says we must receive Him like a child, then it's in our best interest to look into this.
WHAT IS A CHILD’s HEART? Some descriptions today were............................Humility, vulnerability, unlimited trust, pure, simple, full of forgiveness, forgiven, no corruption, no cynicism (We spent a ton of time talking on forgiveness and being forgiven, in context of how that looks in a child's actions)
- This child comparison is truly amazing and very convicting when we compare our corrupted and distracted love toward our heavenly Father, against a child's unfettered and simple love for their parents.
SIMPLICITY: This word simplicity or simple is crucial in trying to discern what Jesus is saying. This is a fitting view, because a child believes without corruption.
- A child just wants to be with Jesus. Sometimes, we need to return to that first love...the simplicity of loving to be with Jesus! This is the simplicity of ALL of Christianity.......Jesus died our punishment, and rose, so we could know Him.
- This simplicity is seen in Jesus's statement about a child in Luke 18:16 when He says to let the children come to me. He stops there!! Jesus does not add anything to it. He simply says to let them come. Then he tells us that we must receive Him like a child. He adds nothing else to it....no stipulations, no works, no purification.......just come and receive Him. WOW!!
** One more thought on a child's heart, which is so ironic, is that we need to approach Him as a child in order to mature as a disciple. That is a good quote!!! The reasoning being that a child like heart is like a clear drain pipe that Christ can flow through. A heart that comes to Jesus with no fleshly hindrance rapidly grows in the knowledge of Jesus Christ.
** Matthew 18:3-4 uses a statement that provided more clarity. It says "unless you turn, and become like children". - We asked the question..."what are they turning from?" Short answer is “worldly things”....which packs a lot of possibilities of things that our heart needs to turn from.
- "Turn" has to do with where a person's faith, trust, and dependence are placed (REPENT). Turning in the correct direction is to replace doubt with unhindered trust!
CONCLUSION: So, looking at the word turn, combined with Jesus's scary warning against those who would lead a child's heart astray (Matthew 18:6), we can deduce that a heart for Jesus Christ that is like a child, is a heart that puts all trust and focus on Jesus, as opposed to every other deception that the world puts before our eyes.
- It is a heart that craves Jesus first and foremost. It is a heart that believes in Jesus without any fleshly apprehension! Sort of like Psalm 131 and 1 Peter 2:1-5. (We closed the morning study by praying this 1 Peter passage)
1 Peter 2:2 basically spells out that we need to approach Him as a child in order to mature as a disciple.
- So, Matthew 18:6 gives us an idea of how important this child like heart is to Jesus.
Imagine Jesus and two guys at a table..................................
Guy One has a pure unfettered, undistracted, uncorrupted child like faith and trust.
Guy Two wants to cast worldly deception on that heart and create idols in that heart. Again....that child like heart is so coveted by Jesus that He gives an incredibly strong admonishment to Guy One in Matthew 18:6.
- Do we seek Jesus with a closed and restricted heart, or a heart wide open like a child? Jesus searches the world for this pure unfettered, undistracted, uncorrupted child like heart- 2 Chronicles 16:9a
- Are we the child running to Jesus, or are we the disciple acting as a hindrance?
**So, if we are called to come to Him as a child...are we allowed to question?
It depends- Hebrews 11:6- He wants unfettered uncorrupted seeking of Him.
Proverbs 3:5-6 was added as an excellent Cross Reference.
** We should not question the faithfulness of Jesus to fill us with His presence, but we can question our life circumstances while in His presence.
- A corrupted heart would give up and not trust that His presence rewards us while in the trial.
APPLICATION- do the trials and darkness, inherent in law enforcement, dampen our child like desire to run to The Lord continuously? Does the badge’s identity remove our reliance on Jesus?
- The child like heart craves and longs for His presence, which is the reward spoken of in Hebrews 11:6.