July 08, 2009 On a radio program called Truth for Life, Alistair Begg, pastor of Parkside Church in Cleveland, recently had a series titled "They Still Don't Get it, Do We?"
Now, I admit to being somewhat of a grammar freak. Not that I never break the rules myself—I do! But my philosophy is that once you know the rules you may break them—for effect.
I reserve judgment, but I think to myself, "Either someone messed up, or the guy is trying to get our attention."
Here's the gist of one of the episodes in the series.
On the road to Capernaum the disciples are arguing. After they get there, and get settled in, Jesus says, "What were you arguing about?"*
Of course, he knows, but he wants to hear them say it—that they'd been arguing about who of them was the greatest. Time for an object lesson. He takes a child in his arms and says, "Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes not only me but also my Father who sent me."*
That story is in Mark 9. In the very next chapter, some moms are bringing their snotty-nosed little kids to sit on Jesus' lap—or at least bringing them to him so he can speak a blessing over them. His disciples say something like this: "Can't you moms see the rabbi is busy? He doesn't have time for this—he has important stuff to do."
Jesus takes the disciples to task and says, "Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children."*
Do you think they got it? Do you think we get it?
Editor's note: The asterick (*) represents direct quotes from the NLT (New Living Translation—2004—Tyndale. A word from the publishers: "The goal of this translation is to convey the meaning and content of the ancient texts as accurately as possible to contemporary readers. We believe that the NLT—which combines the latest biblical scholarship with a clear, dynamic writing style—will communicate God's word powerfully to all who read it. We publish it with the prayer that God will use it to speak his timeless truth...in a fresh, new way."