Read: Matthew 18:1-14
“But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:14
The disciples had not yet come to understand the spiritual nature of the kingdom of heaven. Their notions about this were earthly. Did they not yet know that the greatest in the kingdom stood before them? Their question proved that they were much like we are, so concerned about who is on top.
Jesus explained that we need to be converted to childlikeness. “Except ye be converted and become as little children, ye shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.” When we are to be men of God, Christ calls us to be children. God evidently calculates greatness on a different scale than we do. We cannot continue with earthly notions about greatness.
The conversion here is a change of heart, a change of attitude and goals. The apostles had shown rivalry, jealousy, and possibly unholy ambition. Christ tells them that they will not join Him in the kingdom of heaven with such feelings.
Little children are simple and trusting. They do not seek honor and prestige. They are humble without knowing it. They possess an innate inquisitive nature. They love to learn and do not necessarily want to teach others. They do not offend. They tend to be unworldly. They view things from a lower plane of vision than adults do.
As we stretch up into Christian character, the lower we stoop, the more we kneel, the deeper we think and thank. Yes, the closer we get to God, the more childlike we become. This is not a call to childishness, but rather it is a call to an unfeigned love, like a child.
This love in the heart of the child is expressed in simple things like picking a wildflower to make her mama smile. We miss this as adults. Our stress levels are punishingly high. Our expectations are too severe towards ourselves and others. Relationships die for lack of real compassion.
“Lord, convert us to become as little children, because we really do desire to enter the kingdom.”