|Posted by whybelieveinjesus on March 25, 2012 at 4:25 AM|
When Jesus was asked by his disciples "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?", he called over a little child and used them to illustrate his answer, "Unless you become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven". (Matthew 18:1-4)
Jesus quite often spoke to his disciples, followers and opposition using examples or parables to make his message more memorable. What does he mean here by saying that we should be like children?
Children have many qualities that adults do not really have any more; normally they have grown out of them or know better, but some qualities children possess are admirable and should be emulated by older people.
Jesus is not saying that his followers should become childish. His disciples were already very good at arguing over petty issues! But instead that they should become childlike. How is this different?
Children have an inbuilt trust that adults seem to lose as they grow more worldly-wise. It's adults who panic and stress about their lives - what to eat, what to wear, where to go, how to afford things, how to be popular, etc. As adults we get bogged down by details like this every day of our lives. But the great news is we have a loving heavenly Father, God, who knows all about these issues and is quite cabable of handling them for us. He loves us more than we can imagine, and certainly more than our earthly fathers! Jesus is calling us to be like children before our heavenly Father (that makes sense, really!) by trusting in him like little kids do with their earthly fathers.
Do you see five year olds stressing out about the same things adults do? A kid doesn't worry where their next meal is coming from - they trust that mum and dad will provide, and they do! When a little boy or girl tugs at daddy's sleeve and asks to be spun around in the air, and daddy obliges causing much laughter and enjoyment, the child doesn't believe that daddy will drop them. It might not even cross their mind! Sometimes we as humans can't live up to others' expectations, though. Maybe on some occasions, we have failed our children by not being able to collect them from school, for example, but God the Father, on the other hand, never fails his children. Imagine then, how content we can be in our lives when we know that our Father wants us to trust him like we do our earthly fathers, but also to know that He will never make a mistake or let us down. When things don't seem to work out how we wanted or expected, it's only because God has a bigger and better plan over all and can judge our circumstances objectively. So like children who don't think about the mortgage (their parents quietly have it under control) we shouldn't worry about how our Father will provide for us in life. He will.