September 8
‘I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one.’ 1 John 2:14b
Bible reading: Matthew 18:1-5 (Go to the Bible passage)
Here the apostle John writes something truly great about the young people.
Adolescence is a difficult time, filled with turbulence and insecurity. An adolescent is half child and half adult, and it is hard to find out what it is all about. Is it not remarkable that John says such marvelous things especially about young people? Why would that be? John says, in today’s passage, that the adolescent does not need to feel unhappy, for God wants us to be exactly like this: partly child and partly strong adult.
Jesus says: ‘Whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven’ (:4). Here it becomes very clear: whoever takes the lowly position of this child, is the greatest. ‘Lowly position’ means ‘a position of dependence’. Whoever dares to be weak and dependent like a child, will be great in the kingdom. Jesus does not say that we must become children, but that we must become ‘like the children’, which means that we must live in the same dependence of the Father as children do.
When we are willing to be dependent like an adolescent, we will be eager to stay close to Him: ‘If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing’ (John 15:5).
Did we ever consider who we - actually - want to be? Are we willing to live the somewhat uncertain life of an adolescent? For then - although we might be insecure within ourselves - John says: ‘You are strong, and the word of God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one.’

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