Do you know Paul Keating? Prime Minister of Australia in 1992. He put his arm around the Queen during a royal visit. He was nicked named The Lizard of Oz. A few years after a Canadian leader also “helped” the Queen down some stairs and this was seen as very inappropriate. This shows us that we cannot approach the Queen uninvited. Everything needs to be very official and correct.
Having these examples help us to look at how we can approach the King and we’re going to have a look at the passage when children were being brought to be blessed by Jesus.
Disciples were stopping children coming to Jesus. We don’t know why. Jesus is not impressed with this behaviour.
What is the Kingdom of Heaven?
The focus of any kingdom is the king. A kingdom is not like a democracy. The king rules.
The Kingdom of Heaven
It’s not from this world, it is a Spiritual Kingdom, a kingdom of Heaven. It is a kingdom of different values and priorities.
- Who are they approaching?
Matthew 10:7: The kingdom of heaven has come near.
The cross is not a barrier. Jesus was lifted up not in a throne but in a cross. This was not hidden. He wanted everyone to see and approach him. He is standing with his arms opened waiting for everyone to come having free access to Him and through Him to God the Father.
- How they approach Jesus?
- Children normally approach parents with all confidence and trust.
- This is how these children approached Jesus. At the time children would carry very little status. This is how different his kingdom is.
- What they leave behind?
- Jesus wanted his disciples to leave worldly things behind.
- The young rich man was full of pride and he leaves Jesus disappointment. When you enter the kingdom you might need to leave worldly things behind. But you will receive eternal and spiritual things and gifts.
“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose” Jim Elliot
“The task of the church is to make the invisible kingdom visible” John Calvin
We need to encourage people to come in and encounter the King of Kings and enter into His blessing.
Nicky Cruz was a gang leader in New York many years ago. He was the least likely to come to encounter Jesus but he was given the opportunity just as anyone else and he accepted the invitation of the King of Kings. God reached out to him and he experienced Jesus’ open arms. He wrote the book Run, Baby, Run.
Nicky Cruz wrote:
“Nothing stirs God’s heart more than a humble heart and a merciful spirit. God responds to mercy, because it is through compassion that we fully come to know Him. This is the defining quality of a true follower of Christ. We are never closer to the heart of God than when we are forgiving someone. And we are never farther from it when we are holding a grudge.”