My daughter and I were having a conversation as we were driving back from the store. I mentioned to her that we were almost home and she said, “Daddy, that is not our home; heaven is our home.” I responded by telling her that she was correct, as Paul said, “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ (Philippians 3:20 ESV).” Children have some good spiritual insight at times. I love that she was thinking about heaven and it reminded me of how I should be thinking of heaven often.
I was reminded of how children had insight about Jesus in the New Testament. In Matthew 21, in what is called the “Triumphal Entry,” Jesus enters into Jerusalem, riding on a donkey, like a victorious king. The crowds yell, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” They lay palm branches and their coats on the ground. This is a great picture of Jesus being the King of kings. The next day, Jesus cleans out the temple as they were using God’s house not for worship, but for making money. This action of course caused a lot of uproar from among the religious leaders. As Jesus was healing the blind and the lame, the chief priests and the scribes came to Him to confront Him. And as they were about to open their mouths, we read a verse which says, “and the children were crying out in the temple, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David’” (verse 15).
This caught my attention. Even though the religious leaders missed what was happening before them, these children understood that the Messiah, God in flesh, the Savior and King, was right in front of them. The timing was perfect: as the chief priests and scribes were confronting Jesus, children rose up and were praising Him. They were saying the same thing that probably some of their parents said the day before: “Hosanna to the Son of David!”
This isn’t the only instance in the New Testament where children had insight. In Matthew 19, we read that children come to Jesus, and the disciples are chasing the children away. Jesus stops that and tells the disciples to let the children come to Him. In Matthew 18, Jesus even uses children as an example concerning salvation. He says, “Truly I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” We are to be like a child in our faith.
I love thinking of how my children have this insight, this strong faith! Like my daughter, who said so simply that heaven is our home, we are to have simple, pure, yet mighty faith. How often as an adult we are hindered by the cares of this world, by our sin and selfishness, by the trials of this life—we are hindered from just looking and seeing that Jesus, the Savior of the world, is alive and active today. How often we can be like the religious leaders and miss the point.
There are some moments when my children will say something that maybe isn’t quite accurate biblically, but I love that they are trying to articulate as best as they can what they understand. In times like that, I encourage them that I love that they are thinking about the things of the Lord and then I help them to understand what the Bible says about Jesus and who He is.
Children can have amazing insight spiritually. They get it! We should foster our children’s faith and let it fan ours as well. How are you, as a parent, helping to encourage your children in their faith?