But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 19:14 KJV
Fear kept him from going where he wanted to go.
One of my family’s favorite things to do during the Christmas season is looking at lights. One Sunday evening, my wife, daughter, two grandsons, and I decided to ride to a neighboring town where the local park was decorated and Santa sat in a Boy Scout hut giving out candy, asking children what they wanted for Christmas, and letting them take a picture with him. The grandkids were excited.
Our one hour drive had given our grandsons time to fall asleep. Waking them brought tears and whines and a reluctant agreement to get out and see the lights and Santa. As we stood in the line that formed outside the small hut, they screamed, whined, and growled. Our daughter finally had enough and said, “Let’s go.” No Santa.
Both boys calmed down after a stroll around the park, so we decided to try the “Ho Ho” thing again. This time, they were excited. But when we made it inside the hut, only one remained excited enough to sit on Santa’s lap. The younger one wanted to get close enough for a candy cane but wasn’t about to sit on Ho Ho’s lap. Excitement drew him, but fear drove him away.
Jesus must have been a little different than Santa. Since the disciples were trying to keep the children away from Him, the children must have been flocking to Him—sitting on his lap, gathering around his feet, asking Him questions, wanting Him to tell stories.
Some maintain the Old Testament God is different than the New Testament Jesus. I beg to differ. The writers of the Old Testament tended to emphasize the holy nature of God. He cannot look upon sin and will punish those who choose to rebel against His standards. Thus the fear—or holy reverence, of Him. Jesus showed us the loving side of God. Yes, He has standards, but His love reaches to all people—as does His offer of forgiveness. Like the little children and the crowds, He wants people to flock to Him. He created us for a relationship with Him.
Don’t let fear keep you away from God. Like Santa, He wants you to sit on His lap, spend some time with Him, and get to know Him. It’s a decision you won’t regret.
Prayer: Father, take away our fear or unconcern so that we might come to You for comfort, encouragement, guidance, and forgiveness.