Become a Little Child - Gospel in Life

Become a Little Child

Tim Keller |  April 1, 2001

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  • Atonement
  • Understanding the Gospel
  • Jesus' Death & Resurrection
Mark 10:13-16, 35-45
RS 127-4


What did Jesus mean when he said that he came to give his life as a ransom for many? In this sermon Tim Keller explains the objective and subjective meanings of the cross. Objectively, Jesus paid the debt we owe that separates us from God. Subjectively, the cross turns us into little children, running boldly into our Father’s loving arms because of what Jesus has done. This sermon will help us answer three questions: 1) What did Jesus come to do?; 2) Why did he come to do it?; 3) How can we personally connect to it?

Mark 10:13–16, 35–45

Jesus tells us that trusting and being humble like a child is important. He doesn’t like it when people stop children from coming to him. He also says that His kingdom is for people who are like children in their faith. After that, he explains to James and John, who wanted power, that his goal is to serve others and give his life for many people. When we understand why Jesus gave his life and we see it in the way a child would, we start to see how big his act of love was.

1. What he came to do

Jesus’ death was different from other religious leaders. He was young and seemed defeated, which is not how success is usually seen. But when his followers realized why he died, they saw the cross as a sign of happiness, strength, and comfort. The power of Jesus’ death isn’t just in what happened, but in understanding what it means.

2. Why he came to die

Jesus’ death was a way of paying a price to free us from being trapped in selfishness. The cross stands for payment of a debt and a deep change in us, which can be hard to understand. The best freedom and proof of God’s love is in the beautiful act of Jesus taking our place. This is not just showing forgiveness but is like actually paying a debt we owe.

3. How we can personally connect to it

Being spiritually like a child means recognizing that we completely rely on Jesus and what he did for us, just like a child relies on their parents. We should expect love and acceptance from Jesus and see ourselves in a balanced way, not too high or too low. Understanding how much Christ’s sacrifice means, that he values us even when we are at our worst, can change us and is very important for our spiritual growth.



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