The gospel writers spoke about children coming to Jesus, giving the impression that the young were very comfortable around Him (Matt. 18:2-3; Matt. 19:13-14). Some probably climbed onto His lap, while others perhaps sat at His feet. We can picture them asking Him lots of questions, begging to hear more parables, and whispering secrets in His ear. It isn’t surprising that they would gather around Jesus; children can usually sense when an adult loves them deeply.
Contrast this snapshot of the Savior’s welcoming, loving nature with the picture some Christians have of God—they see Him as a judgmental taskmaster who motivates by intimidation. While it’s true that we are to obey the Lord’s commands, we’re also to delight in Him, just as we would enjoy the company of a close friend.
Do you think of God as a stern overlord who weighs good actions against bad? If so, you’ll have trouble considering Him a friend. Christians who envision a harsh God devote much time and energy to proving their salvation is deserved. How much better to have a biblically accurate view—namely, that God, while sovereign over the universe, balances authority with love. He wants us to relax and enjoy spending time with Him.
Taking pleasure in the Lord requires that we understand His attitude toward us: Our Father loves us passionately. He sees past our faults and mistakes to the precious child He created. In fact, He loves us so much that He sent Jesus Christ to save us and enable us to be with Him in heaven eternally. We have no greater friend!