Me, my brother, Kim and my sister, Chloe.
At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
“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.”
I looked up this verse on Bible Hub to see what commentators would say about it. I was really moved; one reason is probably that I adore little children. Another reason is the Presidential election in the U.S. All the fighting, the name-calling, and the grasping for power is disheartening. I’m glad God’s kingdom is backwards and upside-down compared to our kingdoms here on earth.
“Our Lord set a little child before them, solemnly assuring them, that unless they were converted and made like little children, they could not enter his kingdom. Children, when very young, do not desire authority, do not regard outward distinctions, are free from malice, are teachable, and willingly dependent on their parents.”
I remember when I was 11 yrs. old, my mother drove the family from California up to Canada for a wedding. There were 6 of us in the car. Dad couldn’t come. We hit a blizzard in Montana and Mom couldn’t see the edges of the road. Everyone was scared except me. I trusted my mother implicitly; she drove us everywhere all through my childhood. She had never been in an accident. I just knew inside me we wouldn’t crash or go off the road down to who-knows-where. We didn’t crash – we came to a little town and spent the night. In the morning, we could see there was no steep precipice to plunge down; the ground was flat as a pancake so even if we had gone off the road we would have been fine.
“Except ye be converted,” does not imply, of necessity, that they (Jesus’ friends) were not Christians before, or had not been born again. It means that their opinions and feelings about the kingdom of the Messiah must be changed. They had supposed that he was to be a temporal prince. They expected he would reign as other kings did. They supposed he would have his great officers of state, as other monarchs had, and they were ambitiously inquiring who should hold the highest offices. Jesus told them that they were wrong in their views and expectations. No such things would take place. From these notions they must be turned, changed or converted, or they could have no part in his kingdom. These ideas did not fit at all the nature of his kingdom.”
“And become as little children – Children are, to a great extent, destitute of ambition, pride, and haughtiness They are characteristically humble and teachable. By requiring his disciples to be like them, he did not intend to express any opinion about the native moral character of children, but simply that in these respects they must become like them. They must lay aside their ambitious views and their pride, and be willing to occupy their proper station – a very lowly one.”