At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
The disciples were soaked in the religious culture. How do we get
to the top? How do we get noticed? How do we become a great
one? What’s the answer?
We are not nearly blown away enough by Jesus’ answers to questions. If someone only read the gospels and paid close attention to how Jesus replied every time He was asked a question, they would be speechless at the wisdom, humility and boldness with which He spoke.
The disciples were ready for a great lesson in climbing the religious corporate ladder and Jesus calls a little child over. The disciples had no use for a child. We know this because of an incident that made it into scripture:
Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to
such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” And he laid his hands on them and went away.
“Jesus tried over and over again to show those disciples that people matter, not position.”
Jesus took those little ones and did the most beautiful thing…He laid those holy hands on them. He gave them His love and His time. They were no bother to Him. Jesus tried over and over again to show those disciples that people matter, not position. He tells us that if we don’t become like little children, we won’t make it into heaven. What did He mean?
I don’t know all that encompassed but I think I know a few things.
• Little children live in the moment. They look at what is right in
front of them and they don’t have an agenda. They are truly
interested or they wouldn’t be there.
• They live in truth. If they don’t like something, they say so. If they love something or someone, they show it.
• They are not self-conscious. They don’t know how to be.
• They naturally have awe and wonder at the world around them.
• They are vulnerable.
• They are dependent, not independent of the need to be helped
by a parent.
Those are qualities most people would never want to possess as an adult. We have to watch our back, hide our emotions, get thick skinned, and never let them see you sweat. We grow up and things get very complicated. It’s all about, “How can I get to the top?”
That’s exactly what the disciples did. They wondered who was going to sit on Jesus’ right and left in His kingdom. They were vying for position and Jesus blasts through that thinking and says, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
“The one quality little children have that adults lack is trust. As we age, we become cynical and hard. Following God brings us back to how He created us to be, childlike and trusting.”
Jesus was telling them the truth. They had to become simple and single-minded like little children. The one quality little children have that adults lack is trust. As we age, we become cynical and hard. Following God brings us back to how He created us to be, childlike and trusting.
“God never asks us to trust people with childlike trust, He expects us to trust Him with childlike trust.”
How can we be that way in a fallen world where people don’t trust each other and will stab each other in the back in a second?
God never asks us to trust people with childlike trust, He expects us to trust Him with childlike trust.
“But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about
man, for he himself knew what was in man.”
He knew all men but He never hated them and was rarely disappointed in them. He loved them and laid down His life,
expected nothing in return. They could not make Him weary or tired of them because His source was not man’s loyalty or love, it was the inexhaustible source of the Spirit of God. He lived the way every man and woman of God is empowered to live now…by the Spirit. We can walk this world as Jesus did, giving our heart away, loving others and not having a care because our heart is safe in God’s hands. No one can truly break it because it’s not theirs, it’s God’s. Our love affair with our God, and our trust in His governing of the world should be so strong that we live like the Psalmist told us to:
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
Psalm 91:1-2 describes the life of a child of God. His only duty is to dwell in His shelter and abide in His shadow. As the child does that, His protector takes care of every other thing. Let us never forget, the One who said we have to become like a little child, became a little child. He nursed from Mary’s breast and had to have his diaper changed. How could the God of the
universe take such a risk in this dark and dangerous world?
It was no risk. He surely knew His Father was His protector and He was safe from every harm, even in His helpless state. He lived that simple life of a child all the way to the cross. He left us an example, to follow in His steps.
“Let us never forget, the One who said we have to become like a little child, became a little child. He nursed from Mary’s breast and had to have his diaper changed.”
Let us look at scripture and strive to become less sophisticated
and more like a child. It’s the place of bliss.