Childlike Faith Defined

Posted: August 18, 2009 in Faith

Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Childlike faith is not childish faith, nor is it mentally inferior or blind faith.  I’ve said it many times before: there is no such thing as blind faith, only blind ignorance.  Jesus is not telling his followers that they need to be mentally simple or that they should not question and seek honest answers to difficult theological questions.

He continues in v. 4:

Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

The lesson here has nothing do with how we know what we know or why we believe what we believe.

Verse 1:

At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

His followers are arguing over who’s the best among them. Jesus calls them over and uses a child to teach them that greatness in the Kingdom is measured in humility, not pride.  Compare this to our current political and athletic icons.  Who is truly great?

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Comments
  1. caedmon says:

    I know Jesus regularly pointed out to people they weren’t asking the right questions, but did he ever put someone down for the sake of asking?

  2. jpfagapeu says:

    I’m failing to see what the question has to do with the post. The point of the post was two-fold: 1) Childlike faith is not simple, unintelligent faith, 2) it is a humble faith placing others before oneself.

    To answer it however, Jesus never called anyone a moron or doofus etc., but He did name people as hypocrites to their faces. Was there something specific you were thinking of or a different application I missed?

  3. caedmon says:

    I wasn’t asking in order to oppose anything you said, but to chew on what you said.

    Something about your post got me to thinking about the questions people asked Jesus and unless I’m forgetting something, he never turned anyone away for asking. He was sometimes quite direct in letting them know they were asking the wrong question, but I don’t think he ever blasted them just for asking.

    Kids ask lots of questions, too. Part of coming to him in a childlike faith might be to keep coming with questions, with curiosity, with a desire to hear truth direct from the source, even if the truth is that I’m asking the wrong question or asking it poorly. 🙂

  4. jpfagapeu says:

    That is a good point. We do often (or at least I do often) ask the wrong thing or for the wrong thing. God corrects me. The only people Jesus actually rebuked (unless I too am mistaken) were those who did not ask sincerely but attempted to trip him up or catch him in some fallacy.

    When God via the Holy Spirit begins to draw someone toward Himself, they will often ask the wrong questions (at least such has been my experience), but do so in sincerity, out of ignorance. Over time, as the Spirit keeps working on them, their questions become more defined and accurate.

    Of course that’s not just for seekers and new believers. As I mentioned above, I often ask the wrong things. I guess learning to ask the right questions is part of sanctification.

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