Come to Jesus

I am not an emotional person, at least not when it comes to crying. I cry so little that Stacy once asked me, “Can you cry in front of the boys, so they know it’s okay to cry.” She was shocked to learn that crying just isn’t something I do that often.

But I will admit the parable of the Pharisee and tax collector stirs my emotions almost every time. I don’t know if it is because I can strangely see myself in both characters or the powerful view of the simplicity of the gospel, but it has a way of almost loosening my tear ducts.

And this gets us to the three verses after this parable. Luke places these verses here to help us see the faith Jesus calls us to have. He writes, "Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them. And when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” (Luke 18:15-17)

Not every conversion will be as dramatic as the tax collector’s. Of course, it is a miracle anytime someone comes to Jesus regardless of the circumstances, but how that plays out will vary. So Jesus uses infants to illustrate the child-like faith of the tax collector. Children must trust those who care for them because that is their only choice. They are dependent with no means to earn our care for them. 

So it is with us when we approach God. We may think we can earn His grace, but it simply isn’t possible. Our only hope is to receive the kingdom like a child, fully dependent on our heavenly Father. 

And this brings me to my conclusion for this week’s devotions. Something else that loosens my tear ducts is Chris Rice’s song, Come to Jesus. It captures the simplicity of childlike faith while displaying the power of Jesus. If you know it, sing along to the first two verses below. Or listen to the whole thing on the Internet as a way to express your faith and worship.

Weak and wounded sinner,
Lost and left to die,
Oh raise your head for Love is passing by.
Come to Jesus,
Come to Jesus,
Come to Jesus and live.

Now your burden’s lifted,
And carried far away,
And precious blood has washed away the stain.
So, sing to Jesus,
Sing to Jesus,
Sing to Jesus and live.

By Philip Jones

Philip and his wife, Stacy, have been attending Immanuel since 2015. They are blessed to be raising four kids. His passion in ministry is to help others follow Jesus through teaching, preaching, and personal discipleship.

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