We are honored to serve a God, who loves us so much, that He sent His Son to die for us. Praise God our Father! Praise Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, who as the Son of God, knew His role and fulfilled it for His Father. Amen!
We read in the books of Matthew, Mark and Luke, about the little children and Jesus. Let us take a closer look at Matthew 18:2 – 6: “He called a little child to Him, and placed the child among them, and He said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven, and whoever welcomes one such child in My name welcomes Me.
From the passage, two significant things stand out for me. Firstly, Jesus was referring to the child but who was he speaking to? He was addressing a crowd, of which most must have been adults, for He was using a child as example. The other significance, is the actual message, that unless we change and become like little children, we will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus knew that something had happened between having the faith of a child, growing up and losing faith along the way.
The aforesaid, made me think back to when I was a child. I grew up in a Christian home and my dad has always been one of my biggest Spiritual mentors. Church, Sunday School, the Bible and to pray, was part of our lives. What then, when it comes to faith, do children do differently? I remember being excited about going to Sunday School, reading Bible stories and singing Bible songs. Jesus was part of my life and I would freely talk to others about Him. We would tell each other that Jesus was living in our hearts and that He listens to us, when we pray. Every night before going to bed, a prayer was done, thanking Jesus for the day and praying for the friends, mom and dad, poor people, sick people and even the animals. You prayed in faith and once you said Amen, you did not dwell on it again.
I realise that some children grow up without being told about Jesus. They have no Christian based framework like me, who grew up in a Christian home. Therefore, you have 2 groups then, the one having the foundation of Jesus and the other, the foundation of the world. The people living their life on a worldly foundation, need to hear about Jesus and as Christians, in a relationship with Jesus, we need to spread the gospel. Then there is the group who knows about Jesus and that group can again be divided into two. Both groups have a Christian based foundation, accepting God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son and the Holy Spirit. The one group includes people who have a personal relationship with Jesus and live their lives as directed by the Holy Spirit. The other, have the Christian foundation, but are not in a personal relationship with Jesus. They go about life as normal, and even go to church and pray. When things are difficult in their life, they also turn to God and pray, for they acknowledge His existence.
The question then for me is, who did Jesus address in the crowd? Well, I think that those that followed Him to hear Him preach, were interested to hear what God had to say. I think it also included those that were already close to God and who wanted to hear more. However, I believe that surely there must have been people who did not follow the Lord, but out of curiosity, came any way. For me then, Jesus was speaking to all the groups. If you have never believed in God, then Jesus was telling you that unless you change and become like little children, you would not enter the Kingdom of Heaven. If you have allowed your faith to wither down, then Jesus was speaking to you, telling you to once again, change and become like a little child.
Why then, are Jesus telling adults to change and become like little children? I believe that it is because He knew that people have lost the level of faith they had as a little child. As a little child, you are told that something is the way that it is, because that is how it is, and the child believes it. Furthermore, when children play and are hurt by a friend, they cry, but as soon as the friend says that they are sorry, all is forgiven and play continues as if nothing happened. I am only sharing a few examples, but what I am trying to say is that for me, to change and become like a little child, means to once again, love, trust and forgive unconditionally. Furthermore, it is to have Jesus as my hero, talking with Him, reading His Word (the Bible) and telling others about Him. So, what then happened? Many would answer and say that life happened, and yes that is true. You grow up and as your brain develop and you meet life in its various stages, you start questioning things, wanting explanations and answers to everything. For me, I don’t think God ever intended for us to grow out of it, but that we should have rather grown into it.
The reality is that God reveals many things to His children, but some things, we might never understand and that, is where unconditional faith for instance steps in. Many are not willing to keep their faith, unless they receive all the answers to their questions. Instead of waiting on the Lord or trusting Him unconditionally, they push Him away.
I want to end off by asking a question. Are you still connected to Jesus, or did you grow out of it? God is serious in His Word in Matthew 18 when He says: “unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Let us be like children again, loving Jesus, trusting Him and forgiving unconditionally.
Love in Christ,