Jesus, incarnate Son of God, in becoming a little human child, you taught us what it means to really live as a child of God.
By Lauren Heaton
13 October 2017
Jesus, Son of God.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard that specific title for Jesus, but I do know that I heard it radically shifted earlier this week.
I always hear “Jesus, Son of God” in a big, booming, rather omnipotent sounding voice. But not this week. Instead, I heard it on the radio and a little lightbulb went off in my brain *Jesus was a child too!*
Now, I know you might be rolling your eyes like, “Duh, we all know that.” But hear me out, because understanding that Jesus is the incarnate Son of God who became a little human child like us, is really important.
This realization about Jesus opened my eyes to see how he exemplifies the perfect childlike faith he calls us to live! (I just love how he does that. He never asks us to live out something he himself has not already experienced.)
With that realization, I started to look at how Jesus modeled living with childlike faith during his time on earth and what traits of children he thinks are important. I narrowed it down to three things: trust, obedience, and dependency.
Children do not worry the way adults do, they go about their days playing in a carefree way and enjoying the world around them. They naturally trust their parents will protect and provide for them.
Children also need to obey their parents in order for their parents’ attempts to protect and provide for them to be successful. For instance, parents can only protect their children as far as their wishes are obeyed, like looking both ways before crossing the street. Likewise, although parents’ abilities to provide for their children are limited, it’s a child’s fault if he goes hungry because he stubbornly refuses to eat his veggies. It’s important for children to listen to their parents and freely obey their wishes, so as to live a safer, happier, more fulfilling life, right?
The same goes for our relationship with God as his children. Our loving Father tries to protect us from various hurts in this world, but if we disobey him or ignore his will for us, well then, the suffering we often experience is brought on by our own stubborn refusal to grant him our free and loving obedience. God only desires our good (Jeremiah 29:11) and lavishes his love on us, if only we accept his gifts and his will for our lives. If we refuse to freely give ourselves over to him in love, then we block his grace and, at least to some extent, the good intentions he has planned for us. A child of God cannot fully become who and what God intends, if he resists the Father’s perfectly loving and compassionate plan.
Lastly, children are dependent upon their parents. They are needy and physically incapable of providing completely for themselves. The sooner we recognize this is true, and that our attempts to control everything are futile because we have a mighty Father in heaven, the better off we will be. God the Father longs to provide for us; he loves it when we come to him asking for help. Who doesn’t like to be needed, right?
Jesus trusts his Father will provide for him throughout his ministry. Jesus obeys his Father’s will all the time—always. Jesus depends on God the Father in a way I long to imitate.
Jesus is the Son of God. What a beautiful reality!
For a few biblical examples of Jesus’s childlike faith see:
Jesus’s trust: John 17:1-26, Luke 10:21-22
Jesus’s obedience: John 4:34, 5:30, 6:38, 8:26, 10:18, 12:49-50, 14:30-31, and 15:10
Jesus’s dependency: Luke 23:46, Luke 22: 42-44
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Photo Credit: Lauren Heaton, all rights reserved, used with permission.