Angels announced his birth; faithful saints prophesied of his greatness; his parents pondered all. The wise men sought and found Jesus as a Young Child…and they bowed down and worshipped Him! When we consider the Young Child who became our Savior, we, too, will rejoice in His greatness and bow before Him. We will long to be like Him. Certainly, Jesus grew strong in body, spirit and wisdom during His earthly life—but God chose to have the Savior come as a Young Child. We will grow as we ponder ‘why’!
Imagine—the Lord of the Universe accepted the limitations of infancy, allowing Himself to be wholly dependent on a teen-age mother because the Father willed it to be so! The example of humility in the Savior coming as a child transforms hearts. Our human tendency is to strive for independence—and expect others to do the same. We do not want to depend on anyone, God included. Our pride resists every limitation and closes us off from the deepest joys of a humble heart.
Christ’s humble heart did not resist absolute dependence because He knew the heart of the Father. A Young Child need not strive to possess anything because a child’s heart trusts in the Father’s generosity. The gentle purity of such a heart is foreign to most of us for we see it very seldom. Even our children rarely experience such security. We live in a culture that claims to love children, but many of our choices show a different value. We rush children through childhood, anxious to share the ‘burden’ of their care with others. We choose careers and independence above sacrificial giving to our young ones. Our example reveals a mind-set that says each must be the ‘captain of your own ship’—meeting your own needs first. Jesus did not give that example. Love puts the needs of another above one’s own—and trusts the Father to care for all.
In His short, busy years of ministry, Jesus insisted on allowing children to come to Him. He valued the example children give—and the generous desires the Father has for every soul. Jesus knew that receiving God’s best necessitates a trusting, child-like heart. Indeed, such a heart is a precious commodity in this world. The heart of a Young Child has no concern about ‘honor’ from others for it needs nothing! A Young Child is open to receive the riches of the Father and no needs exist. Such a fulfilled heart emanates the gentleness and joy that builds relationships.
Christ clearly saw each of His disciples as a ‘Young Child’ for He often addressed them as such. The disciple of Christ today must seek to grow into childhood as well. Adult hearts strive in pride and convince themselves of their humble purity (Colossians 2:20-23). A Young Child’s heart accepts that Jesus is our only hope. We must rejoice in His example of trust in the Father’s design—complete dependence is our deliverance. Self-driven efforts may improve our outward appearance but striving never transforms the inner darkness of our hearts. Simple youthful joy in the generosity of God is what we must grow into! Christ began where we are to arrive: Young Child! Grow down today.