Who was ready to receive the King when Jesus was born? Probably nobody, even though there was an expectancy among the people for new leadership, since the political situation has turned against Israel under the Roman empire. However, Jesus came to restore peace for all mankind with no short term political involvement in mind. God used John the Baptist to prepare the world for Jesus’ ministry. And what did John do to prepare the people? He encouraged them to repent and be baptized to open a new chapter in their lives.
It is very human to hold on to old habits and behavior patterns. We need to break free from such ties, so that our hearts can open up and receive what God has to say. There is no open-mindedness in preconceived notions! Try to have a friendly discussion with an opinionated person, and you know what close-mindedness is all about.
On the other side of the spectrum are little children who are like sponges, wide open to explore the world around them. Small children are usually straight shooters. They say what they think, they are unashamedly curious, and they trust blindly – without reservation they embrace Jesus. In the realm of faith kids are our role models, as Jesus points out (Luke 18:17):
“Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
When Jesus’ disciples were trying to discourage parents from bringing their children to Jesus, He rebuked them. Turning to His disciples Jesus essentially told them: “Look at these children! They have something that you lack. You need to learn from them.”
In God’s kingdom our common way of thinking is turned upside down. The last comes first, and the first comes last; children enter the Kingdom of Heaven; what seems foolish is wise; and what seems wise is indeed foolish – welcome to God’s world! John the Baptist incited a revolution because God wants to revolutionize our way of thinking. He wants to revolutionize you and me. Are we ready to receive the King?
“Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! (…) See your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” Zechariah 9:9