Week 44: Childlike Faith
At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2 And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them3 and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
5 “And whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, 6 but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. Matthew 18:1-6
When asked who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven -- which by the way is not a great question to ask the one that humbled Himself even to obedience to death on a cross -- but when asked, Jesus pulls in a little child.
In the first century, children were overlooked and thought of as second class. And Jesus doesn’t say that to be great that we must change our view of little children. Jesus says that we must change and become like little children. Well, what did He mean?
What Jesus is saying that we must humble ourselves like a child. We live in a world that says that we are to make a name for ourselves. Our world teaches us that we have to look out for ourselves or no one else will. Our world says that our success is most important even if we have to step on others to get there.
Jesus says that to be a part of His kingdom, that we must change and not think less of ourselves but to think of ourselves less. Jesus is saying that we must change and become dependent like a child.
Our world teaches us that maturity is a process of moving from dependent to independent. But, Jesus is teaching that in His kingdom true maturity is a process of laying down our independence and growing in our dependence on our Heavenly Father. Jesus is not calling us to childish faith but to have child-like faith.
Have you ever noticed that little children care very little about the applause of man and are focused on the applause of their parents. You ask a kid to sing and they will without hesitation. You ask an adult to sing and they are very worried about what others will think about them.
Well Jesus is saying that we are to change and become like a little child that are more concerned with the applause of our Heavenly Father and not worried about the applause of man.
And lastly, maybe Jesus is saying that to change and become like a little child is to not let our past define us but to trust God with our future. You see, when Jesus brought this child into His presence, this child is not hampered by his past because essentially he doesn’t have one.
Often time adults are paralyzed in the present because of their past. And Christ is telling us that our past does not determine our future, only Jesus does.
So, as we seek to deepen our relationship with Jesus, may we change and become like a child with childlike faith in our faithful Heavenly Father.
May we be humble, dependent, bold and free to the glory of God.