(Part 2 of 2 in the series: “Becoming Like an Infant”)
The disciples thought they were ready for “PhD Christianity”. Jesus, however, rebuked them that they weren’t even ready for “Kindergarten Christianity”, unless they made a U-turn and became like little children. The beautiful paradox is that the one who is like a little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven!
Another characteristic of infants is that they are utterly dependent on their father/mother for everything — e.g., their inability to remove a blanket from their own face which could suffocate them; the inability to reach over and pick up the pacifier that is lying right next to them, which would satisfy their needs; etc. The spiritual equivalent was the first temptation that Jesus faced in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-4) — to satisfy His own needs on His own power — but He refused to yield to that temptation. And throughout His life, He never pleased Himself (Romans 15:3)
This new way of life that Jesus opened up for us (Hebrews 10:20) is the life of being “good for nothing”, but dependent on the Father for everything. In order to set us this example, He had to be tempted like us in all things (Hebrews 4:15). The result is that we can come boldly to the throne of grace. There, we can freely OBTAIN mercy; and most Christians stop there. God wants to give us more, however — and that is, grace. But, grace is something we must FIND (Hebrews 4:16), and that involves losing our own self-life (Matthew 16:25).
Here is the new and living way that Jesus opened up for us:
1. From the beginning, as God, He did everything (Genesis 1:1; John 1:1; Colossians 1:16).
2. He then emptied Himself of this power (Philippians 2:5-8).
3. While on earth, He then said that He could do nothing, but simply constantly received life from the Father (John 5:19-20).
4. While on earth, He faced the constant pull toward the death that comes from not being dependent on the Father, so He cried out to be saved from it, and was heard (Hebrews 5:7).
5. The result was that He was able to do everything — i.e., perfectly obey the Father (Hebrews 4:15)!
6. He promises to give this same life to all who come to Him (John 5:21).
7. If we choose the same way of going down, we too can do ALL things (Philippians 4:13,11-12).
And, when we see Him, we shall be fully like Him (I John 3:2).