Become Like Children
Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:2-4
To enter the kingdom of heaven we must become like children. To enter paradise we need to be like children. It is not a recommendation or suggestion, it is a command. In the verses above, Jesus says that if you do not become like a small child, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven: it is impossible otherwise!
We have likely read the above verses several times, but have we stopped to consider whether or not we have actually become like little children? First we may wonder what does it mean to “become as little children”. Should we be running around without a care in the world; without direction? Should we be gullible?
Jesus points out the quality that is desired and required: humbleness. In verse 4 of Matthew 18, Jesus says that one who humbles themselves like a child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. So we as Christians - as God’s children - need to be humble. We are to be submissive to God like a child is to be submissive to his/her parents (James 4:7; Colossians 3:20).
And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted. Matthew 23:11.
As we can see in Matthew 18 and 23, if we are humble and submissive, we will have greatness in God’s kingdom. Being humble, like small children, now leads to exaltation and greatness later.
Then they also brought infants to Him that He might touch them; but when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them to Him and said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” Luke 18:15-17
While the humbleness of children is definitely the focus of the analogy used (as found in Matthew), we can see other good traits from small children, which we should have like their curiosity and ambition. We should have spiritual curiosity and have the ambition to continuously study God’s word looking for (and refreshing our minds) on spiritual matters. We need to receive the kingdom of God like a child receive a new toy: with great enthusiasm and excitement!
-- John Thrower Jr.