(Luk 18:16-17) But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. (16) Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein. (17) As I meditated on these verses this morning, I wondered why the Lord would compare heaven to a kingdom filled with those who received salvation like a child. What is it about a child that would lead our Saviour to encourage us to be like them when it comes to salvation? A child does not complicate an issue – he sees things simple. When my son was little, I asked him how the stars stay up in the heavens; he answered that “God holds them up there” and he believed that without any hesitation. If I were to ask an adult, on the other hand, I would be given scientific reasons.
You can be laid off from work and in the middle of a financial crisis in your home. But if your child asked you if everything was O.K., you would respond with reassurance that all was well and your child would believe you and would not question it. Correct? I believe that when Jesus used this analogy, He wanted to communicate to us that salvation is not a complicated issue. Nicodemus complicated it in John 3 – this Pharisee could not accept Christ’s words by exercising his faith. He had to put an intellectual twist to it. A child can see simplicity because he is simple. Life has not had a chance to take its toll in that young heart. A child clearly sees the light of the Gospel when an adult cannot.
Jesus Himself, The Word, compares Himself to the light of the world. His Word is what will light salvation’s message. Every believer can clearly look back on his salvation testimony and see God’s hand along the way. God lit up a path and that path led to Him. Even after salvation, God’s Word continues to be a light that directs us. (Psa 119:105) NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. Jesus is the Light of the world. His salvation is evident throughout the precious pages of the Bible. (Joh 9:5) As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. The Word was in the beginning and with that Word He brings light. The light has many uses:
1. The believer does not remain in darkness:
(Joh 12:46) I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.
The believer no longer has to live in the darkness of sin and be blinded. He has the Truth of the Word in his Bible and is able to see the light of Truth.
(Joh 1:9) That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
2. The Light directs the believer:
(Psa 119:105) NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
Our path is no longer in darkness. We are able to search the Scriptures and determine God’s will for us. Knowing God’s will lights our way and we don’t have to wonder. As long as we are in the Word, the enemy cannot fool us because the Word is a light and we will be able to see the enemy’s tactics and recognize what he is trying to do to us.
(Joh 8:12) Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
3. The Light alerts us to false doctrine:
(Isa 8:20) To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
If someone comes to us preaching another gospel, we are able to discern their lies because the Word reveals the Truth to us. We must be diligently reading the Word to be able to discern deception. We cannot trust man or the doctrines of man.
(2 Pe 1:19) We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
(2 Co 4:4) In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
Does a child understand thoroughly the concept of a flashlight? I challenge you to ask a six year old to explain to you how a flashlight works. You will be amused by the different answers you get. He does not need to know the complexities of batteries or the switch. Although a child cannot explain the concept, he has absolute trust that the light will shine when the flashlight is switched on. It is this same simple faith of a child that Christ encouraged in a person who is seeking salvation. The religions of the world would have you to keep the sacraments or join their church. But Christ did not have such stipulations. He made salvation so simple that even a child could obtain it. The child does not need to know the entire law to recognize his own sins. He knows he sinned and he is quick to accept the free gift through Christ.
That is why it is easier to win a child to Christ than an adult. The older a person gets, the less and less chance he will accept the free gift of salvation. He no longer sees the light of the Word because the father of lies has darkened his heart. (Joh 8:44) Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. The devil wants you to believe that salvation is complicated and involves more than Christ’s complete sacrifice on the cross. He wants you to believe that you must contribute something toward your salvation, like works or being good. That is not what the Gospel is. (Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
You can minimize the importance of God’s Word all you want, my friend. But there is a reason why Christ is called so many names. We will cover a few of those names in this series as they compare to the Word. This particular one, the Light of the world, is especially meaningful because without light, we stumble in darkness. Would you want your child to live in a dark room? You would do all you could to provide a lighted room for your child, wouldn’t you? God is no different. He has given us His very Word to light our way. He did so in the time of Moses and He continues to do so today. (Exo 13:21) And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: Of Christ, Zacharias prophesied: (Luk 1:77-79) To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, (77) Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, (78 To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. (79)
Let the Light shine in you so others may recognize that you are different that those religious people who visit their doorstep. To the one who does not believe that God’s Word is final and that church tradition is equal to the Bible, I challenge you to read God’s Word only for a while. Its truths will open up to you and the glorious light will be revealed to you!
Father in Heaven…
Shed Your blessed Light before me
So I clearly see my way
Keep me from the traps of sin
As I read Your Word each day.