Cross in front of Founders Hall



Children Show the Way

Lent 2021

Read Matthew 19:13-30

Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, 14 but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” 15 And he laid his hands on them and went away. 16 And behold, a man came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” 17 And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” 18 He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, 19 Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 20 The young man said to him, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?” 21 Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22 When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. 23 And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” 26 But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” 27 Then Peter said in reply, “See, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?” 28 Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name's sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.

It is a stunning contrast of two encounters. First, people bring infants to be blessed by Jesus. He declares that God’s reign is theirs, rebutting the disciples who did not want Jesus to be bothered by them. On the other hand, there is a young man who having “obeyed the laws,” is seen by the disciples as the example of one who has been saved by God. Jesus uses him as an object lesson to show all of humanity’s inability to garner access to the Kingdom. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For my ways are higher than your ways.” (Isaiah 55:8-9) We have our own thoughts as to what should grant a person access to the Father, to life, to eternity. We have our own ideas about how these determinations should be made and confidences should be instilled. Those thoughts become the lenses with which we view the world, ourselves, others, and God. But Jesus makes it very clear that these infants in their helplessness are the picture of God’s reigning work. For with man, salvation is impossible, but with God all things are possible. When Jesus declares a child has been saved, when Jesus declares his disciples are saved, when Jesus declares you to be saved, when Jesus declares that I am saved, then it is absolutely so! Why? Because He and only He can accomplish such things. He does so through His divine wisdom and according to the good and gracious will of the Father. He accomplished it on the cross and declares it in our baptism.


Holy Spirit, continually work in me a child-like faith where my “grown-up” understandings do not impede my trust in the all-sufficient grace of Christ. Continue to establish Your saving faith in all people including all the little children. Amen.

Holy Week Icons

President Dr. Michael Thomas guides us through three important religious images that will enhance your experience of Holy Week.

Walk With Us

Sign up to receive daily devotions from Ash Wednesday through Easter directly to your email.
Your email address will be used for no other purposes than these Lenten devotions.

Back to top