Message: “Through the Eyes of a Child: Embracing Humility and Wonder” from Joe Summers

Joe Summers - January 14, 2024

Through the Eyes of a Child: Embracing Humility and Wonder

"Through the Eyes of a Child: Embracing Humility and Wonder" Lesson Objective: To discuss why Jesus used children for teaching adults Scripture: Matthew 18:3, "And he said: 'Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven Attributes of Children compared to adults: Introduce the central Bible verse: A. Matthew 18: 1-5 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. How do we begin to act as a Child? Scripture: Romans 12: 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will Attributes of a Child • Humility: Scripture: Proverbs 11:2, "When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom." a. Children's Attribute: Children often display a natural humility, characterized by a lack of ego and an openness to learning and guidance. They are more likely to accept their limitations and seek help. b. Biblical Example: In the story of Naaman and the young Israeli girl (2 Kings 5:1-14), the girl's humble suggestion leads Naaman to Elisha, who cures him of leprosy. Despite her lowly position, her advice is pivotal. This story contrasts the humility of the child with the initial pride and skepticism of Naaman, an adult in a position of power. c. Adult Application: Adults can learn to embrace humility by acknowledging that wisdom and good advice can come from anyone, regardless of their age or social standing. B. Faith and Trust: a. Children's Attribute: Children often exhibit a remarkable capacity for faith and trust. They tend to believe and trust wholeheartedly, without the cynicism or skepticism that adults might have. b. Biblical Example: David in the story of David and Goliath (1 Samuel 17) exemplifies this childlike faith and trust. Despite his youth and the skepticism of those around him, David trusts in God's protection and defeats Goliath. c. Use the story of Abraham and Isaac (Genesis 22) to illustrate trust in God, paralleling Isaac's trust in his father d. Adult Application: Adults can learn from this by nurturing a faith that does not waver in the face of challenges and by trusting in a higher power or in the goodness of others, even when circumstances seem daunting. C. Wonder and Curiosity: a. Children's Attribute: Children approach the world with a sense of wonder and curiosity. They are eager to explore, ask questions, and are often amazed by the world around them. b. Biblical Example: The boy with five loaves and two fish in the feeding of the five thousand (John 6:9-11) demonstrates this attribute. His willingness to offer what little he has without questioning how it will be used shows a pure, unquestioning attitude. c. Adult Application: Adults can learn to rekindle their sense of wonder and curiosity, approaching life with a willingness to explore new ideas and embrace opportunities with an open heart, much like a child. D. Unconditional Love:** a. Children's Attribute:** Children often exhibit unconditional love. They love and forgive easily, without holding grudges. b. Biblical Reflection:** Jesus' commandment to love one another (John 13:34) echoes this childlike capacity for unconditional love c. Adult Contrast: Adults sometimes love conditionally, allowing past hurts, prejudices, or expectations to influence their ability to love and forgive E. Simplicity: a. Children's Attribute:** Children often have a knack for simplifying complex situations. They tend to focus on the basics and can cut through the noise that adults often get caught up in. b. Biblical Reflection:** Consider Jesus' teachings in the Gospels, where he often used simple stories and parables to convey deep spiritual truths. c. Adult Contrast:** Adults tend to overcomplicate matters, getting entangled in details and what-ifs, which can lead to unnecessary stress and anxiety F. Honesty and Authenticity: a. Children's Attribute: Children are known for their honesty and authenticity. They speak their minds and are true to their feelings b. Biblical Reflection: The call to truthfulness in Ephesians 4:25 ("Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor...") can be seen as a call to embrace childlike honesty c. Adult Contrast: Adults often mask their true thoughts and feelings, either to conform to social norms or to avoid conflict G. Inclusivity and Acceptance a. Children's Attribute:** Children are naturally more inclusive and accepting. They are less likely to judge others based on race, religion, or background b. Biblical Reflection:** Jesus' acceptance of various people, including those marginalized by society c. Adults often develop biases and prejudices, sometimes leading to exclusion and discrimination H. Joy and Enthusiasm Psalms 148: 1-4 Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the LORD from the heavens: praise him in the heights. 2 Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts. 3 Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light. 4 Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens. a. Children's Attribute: Children typically approach life with joy and enthusiasm. They find happiness in the simplest things and are often more present in the moment b. Biblical Reflection The Psalms often reflect a sense of joy and wonder in creation c. Adult Contrast:** Adults can become jaded or indifferent, losing that spark of joy in everyday life due to the pressures and routines of adult responsibilities Conclusion - The story of Jesus and the children (Matthew 19:13-14) emphasizes Jesus' own appreciation for the qualities of children

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