Matthew 19:13-15 – One Thing About My Dad – I Always Knew He Loved Me

Posted: February 13, 2016 in Gospel of Matthew

Matthew 19:13-15 (Part 2)
Jesus Blesses the Children

The kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these. We must become like children to inherit the kingdom of heaven. What is it about children that makes them the perfect examples of those who inherit the kingdom? Let’s think about this a little bit.

When I was little, my dad was larger than life. He could do anything and preach on Sunday, literally. I grew up as the son of Methodist preacher in, for the most part, rural South Carolina. It was a normal thing for me to see my dad do public speaking on a weekly basis. During the week, he was a regular guy though to me. He could fix anything. He grew up on a farm so he just knew how things worked and could fix them easily. He was also an authority figure to us, my brother and I. We knew he loved us but we knew also not to cross him when it came to His rules of behavior. When we were bad, we got whippings. There were consequences to bad behavior. Even though he was a tough man, he would also rough house with us. He would laugh and joke around with us. I just thought he was larger than life. I thought my dad knew everything. And to me, he did. He had an answer for every question. He was the storebook of knowledge. If I didn’t know something, I knew my dad would have an answer. Also, regardless of situation, I knew that my dad would take care of me. He would provide for me. Even though as a Methodist preacher’s kid, I had to move a good many times growing up, I knew that I would always have a home because of my dad. There would always be some kind of rough over my head. I trusted my dad with that. I had no question and complete faith that I would be provided for. After I began growing up, my dad became less of a titan and more of a man. I was able to see his flaws and sometimes his inconsistencies. The relationship became strained when I was a teenager. He was the dumbest, meanest man in the world to me during those years and even into my twenties. Then I had children of my own, and as they say, my dad started getting smarter again. As I grew into being a parent, I realized that my dad did the best he could raising us. The main thing that he did, as learned as a parent myself, was that he was there. He was present in our lives. He cared. He loved. He did the best that he could to raise boys who could function in the world independently. To do that, he had to sometimes be loving in tough ways that did not make him popular with us. All of it had and end and purpose. To grow up young, responsible men. Bottom line though, there was never a doubt in my mind that my dad loved me and still does. I trust that as one of the bedrock principles of my life – that my father loved me and provided for me. There was always that unspoken trust, that acceptance of something being true, that something on which you could rely – that my father loved me and would provide for me.

That trust, that reliance, that unquestioning trust is what Jesus was talking about when He was speaking of children in Matthew 19:13-15 says,

 

13 Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them.

14 Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” 15 When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.

 

Children trust their parents with their very lives. We, as children, could not make in this world alone without our parents. Even teenagers who think their parents are the dumbest people in the world still live in their dumb parents’ house. Teenagers would not be caught dead saying they love their parents, but you never see them leaving their parent’s houses. They stay. Children depend on their parents regardless of what they think of them. There is this implicit trust that they have in their parents. This is the way that we should be about our Father in heaven. We should be like little children when it comes to Him.

We must trust that no matter what that He is going to pull us through and provide for us. I think we all have had moments when our dad had to come pull us out of a jam of some sort. We dreaded having to make the phone call. We dreaded even more having him come get us. Yet, when he came to pick us up, there was just a hug and quiet assurance that everything was going to be ok. Sure, there was going to be consequences for our stupid mistake, but for this night, dads are just glad their kid is OK. Dads are the ones that we count on to get us out of the jams of our own making. Dads are the one we have to come to and admit that we make a mistake and ask him to help us figure a way out. Aren’t we supposed to be like that with God? We know that He has our best interest at heart always. We know that He will be the one that can fix things for us. If He can’t fix, He will show us the way to recover from the disaster. He will show us the way out of the valleys of our own making or the valleys that others have thrust upon us. Our earthly dads are teachers. They teach us about real life and how there are consequences to our actions and that sometimes life is unfair. In it all though, we trust that our dad knows what is best for us. Shouldn’t we be the same way with God? Why is it that we want to take his job? We must learn to return to our days as little children trusting our dads with our very existence when it comes to God. He will pull us through and He will provide.

Let us be like the little children again. Let us have joy again. Let us place our complete trust in our Lord and Savior. There is freedom in that. There is the freedom of a child in that. We try to control our world as adults. We think we are the masters of our universe. We think we got all under control and we freak out when we lose control. Why can’t return to those joyous days of childhood where there was trust in our parents to provide and protect and on that we built our lives. Complete trust. Complete faith. Complete recognition of our need for our parents. Complete understanding that they loved us. Let us be that way with our Father in heaven. Let us trust in His care for us. Let us trust in His provision for us. Let us trust in His love for us. Let us trust in His protection of us. Therein lies the keys to the kingdom my friends. Therein lies the joy of being a Christian. We have God on our side. If God is for us, who can be against us. What joy there is in that! No matter what happens to us, as a Christian, we know there is a purpose and there is a brighter day ahead. That hope gives us joy even in the worst of situations. No, we are not going to kid in a candy store happy but we do have that basic inate joy of a child as Christians. We know that whatever we are going through that God has got our back. We trust that. We know that. We do not question that. It is accepted. We have comfort and security in that, just like I knew as a child that my daddy would provide for me, protect me, raise me, care for me and love me. That was a given. It was understood. It was accepted. Let us be that way again about our Father in heaven!

Amen and Amen.

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