The Heart of a Child

At that time the disciples came to Jesus saying, “Who then is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 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. Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.  Matthew 18:1-5

The childlikeness of the believer, should not be confused with what we would call “childish,” no, rather Jesus emphasis is on the humility of His followers. So to begin with, let us look at the motivation behind the question. Jesus disciples were always looking for ways to be first with Him. Things haven’t changed much today. We all can recall when we’ve seen someone, or perhaps it was ourselves trying to get in good with someone, usually of authority, that we might have favor with them. And here is our example from Scripture the prideful heart’s of believers who want to be rewarded here now in our earthly walk, so that we can become some super saint in heaven. By their one-upmanship of each other, Jesus could see right through their request. But what I like most of all is His way of giving us all a look at what God calls great in the kingdom of heaven. Can you imagine what was going on in the mind of this young Jewish boy Jesus selected? Here he was playing with his friends outside their homes, when Jesus and His followers come by, oblivious perhaps, or maybe just a tad curious as to what was going on, yet, either way, they were going on with their activities of just having fun. Kids, except for some instances, don’t really need no one to tell them to have fun, do they?

So here were these disciples of Jesus with their motivations not being the purest, all wanting to be first with Jesus. In fact, even their mothers got involved with this when they said to Him, “Lord, when You come into Your kingdom, would You let one of my sons be on Your right hand?” (Matthew 20:21). And so Jesus called a little child unto Him, and He sat the child in the middle of them, and He said, “Except you be converted, and become as a little child, you shall not even enter the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble themselves as this little child, the same is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (vv.3-4) This is how Jesus characterized conversion. It pictures faith as simple, helpless, trusting dependency of those who have no resources of their own. And like children, trusts in the very words spoken to them, as they have no reason or comprehension because of having no past experiences not to believe when someone who has authority has spoken to them. I remember, years ago, a very legendary sportswriter, with many decades of column writing, wrote his own wife’s obituary in his column as a tribute to her. Writing about her nature, or character, he said, “she even believed everyone she spoke to, always told the truth!” Today, we may call that naïve, but this is the childlike faith Jesus is referring to.

The true path to greatness is always the path of humility. The Bible has a lot to say about humility, both in the Old Testament, and the New Testament. It is because the path to greatness is the path to servant- hood. Paul the apostle wrote to the church at Philippi, Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus (Philippians 2:3-5). Now much can be said through this passage but I feel it’s greatest impact is the modeling of humility by our Lord, Jesus Christ. His mind was always to be about His Father’s business, and fulfill His purpose and will, which was to go to the cross for our deliverance from sin. How important that we learn to serve, that we not be looking out for ourselves only, but that we would be looking for ways to serve our Lord, and exalt Him in our work.

Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me—Oh how Jesus loves little children! He loves their quizzical faces, their simple faith and trust. That is the heart of a child! The innocence and simplicity of little children the Lord reminds us, is glorious in God’s kingdom. The importance of marriage and family has always been the forefront of Christianity. A strong biblical family, is the making of a strong biblical church. Why shouldn’t we take all the necessary steps to want to preserve this valuable relationship between God and man, by living out our faith and encouraging others to do so also.

Beloved friend, Whether you are past child-rearing or perhaps you still have your family living at home, either way, you who follow after Christ, and the biblical teaching of His Word, have a major impact on those who are around you. Jesus give us a serious warning to anyone who hinders a child’s upbringing in the knowledge of Him, “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offenses comes!” (Matthew 18:6-8). The emphatic warning cannot be denied. Jesus is warning us not to destroy the faith of children. Not to be responsible for their loss of innocence before its time. The Lord will hold us accountable for the raising of our children. A millstone was a heavy stone used for grinding of grain. Jesus straightforward warns of anyone messing with children. It is a very serious issue with anyone who deliberately seeks to destroy the faith of a child in God. That is one of the worst sins anyone could ever commit. To take away the purity and innocence of their trust and faith in Jesus Christ. Be careful, offenses are going to come. Be careful that you’re not the cause of them. The world will cause Christians to be offended, stumble and sin, and they will be judged for it. But let it never be that fellow believers lead others into sin, directly, or indirectly, but rather, always be leading others to Christ. There is no place safer, than in the hands of Christ.

May the Lord bless your walk with Him today!




Author: rontrujillo

Married 37 years We have six children. All of whom are adult. Three are married one of them blessed us with three beautiful grandchildren. Retired Firefighter @ Boeing Aircraft 37 years (Formally McDonnell Douglas) Born Again Summer of 1981

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