For my bible reading today I read some of Matthew 18 and this is what jumped out at me.
3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.5 And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.
I think about the constant defeated message of “I was born this way” and how that message offers a unique form of pride. The kind of self-pity pride that gets the person to buy into the way they are is the way they will always be.
What Jesus is saying in verse 3 (unless you change) is clear that it’s an action we humans must take on our own. The change is a step that reveals a certain level of humility that, ironically enough, is not a self-pity type of pride. Humbling of oneself is different than the defeated “I was born this way” message. It’s an acknowledgement that we as humans need to turn away from the life we’ve established after childhood and everything we’ve become.
Something else I noticed in my reading was in this exchange with Peter.
24 After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma temple tax came to Peter and asked, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?”
25 “Yes, he does,” he replied.
When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak. “What do you think, Simon?” he asked.“From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes—from their own children or from others?”
26 “From others,” Peter answered.
“Then the children are exempt,” Jesus said to him. 27 “But so that we may not cause offense, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.”
Jesus is saying: Although we don’t need to pay the tax, do it to avoid offending others.
Dang, we as a society and church have a lot to learn about what we think we are entitled to.
The more I read the bible the more I realize others don’t.