Little Children

“Unless you turn to God from your sins and become as little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven.  Therefore anyone who humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.”  Matt 18:3-4

 

People have commented on this passage through the ages, speculating on what Jesus could have meant about becoming as little children.  I visualize temper tantrums and people carrying their screaming children out of public places, and I’m sure that was not what he meant.  Some have said God prefers we be innocent and ignorant because God loves simplicity.  I’m not sure about that, because in other places we’re told to learn and be wise.  Others have said we should be as un-self conscious as children.  That could be true, for if we are thinking more about God and what He wants than about ourselves and what we want, that would be in keeping with the teachings of Jesus.  But I think the key to the whole idea is in the second line “anyone who humbles himself as this little child…”   Children recognize they don’t know much and don’t have the strength to do much.  They also recognize when they’ve messed up something, and they need help to set it right again.  Its this attitude that I think Jesus was talking about.  He wants us to come to Him for wisdom, for strength, and most of all for the forgiveness and cleansing we need to get right with the Father.  If we get proud and arrogant, we think we know it all and can do just fine on our own.  We think we really don’t need God.  And with that attitude, we don’t come to Jesus and get what we really do need.

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