This chapter gives a good overview of what pleases Jesus. In the midst of it all he talks about his purpose, but the disciples didn’t seem to get it.
The widow – FAITH, through persistence
The Pharisee and publican – HUMILITY
The children – SIMPLICITY and PURITY
The Rich Young Ruler – SACRIFICE
The blind man – FAITH, through persistence
Persistent Widow – Am I persistent in prayer? To be so, first I must pray! Not haphazardly: a little prayer time here and a little prayer time there. ‘Wow’ prayer time one day and then skip the next three. Being persistent first means being consistent. Consistent in action and persistent in faith and attitude!
Pharisee and Tax Collector – Humility will also come through prayer. How can I possibly enter the presence of the almighty God and walk away thinking I’m somebody? I can walk away overjoyed that His Spirit works in and through me, that He loves me and molds me, and that through Him I can do all things. But to act like I have the right to treat people as if they are lesser than I is…pharisaical!
Little Children and Jesus – “As a little child“. Children are simple, not complex in their thinking. They are so pure. They love, they believe, they follow, they’re impressionable. That’s what I need as basis to these other characteristics. That is how I must receive the kingdom of God.
Rich Young Ruler – Then there is sacrifice. That man just couldn’t part with his riches. Oh yeah, he thought Jesus was neat. Probably believed him to be the Christ. And boy did he ever want to receive the kingdom of God! It must have moved him to see the children climbing onto Jesus’ lap. How sweet. But he didn’t realize that when children climbed up and allowed Jesus to hold them, they didn’t worry about ‘stuff ‘ they left sitting on the ground. They just loved His embrace. This man? he had too much to let go of to allow the outstretched arms of the perfect Savior to hold him and embrace him. Jesus didn’t want this mans riches given to him to hold. He only wanted the man- after the man gave his riches to bless others. But he was not willing. An unfair trade it must have seemed. My riches for the Saviors bosom. Deal? Or no deal? We know his answer by his actions.
Blind Beggar – We’re back to faith again…and again we see persistence. Amazing. I probably would have shut up when they started yelling at me to do so. Not this guy. He was desperate and somehow heard of and believed that Jesus was the answer! Besides, he had nothing to lose. Literally. (powerful perspective when compared to Mr. I’ve-got-Millions a few verses before).