When being child like is OK

Posted: July 29, 2013 in Thoughts on God
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At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:1-4 ESV)

Most of us want to know our life counts beyond the here and now. Jesus’ closest followers wanted to know more than that- they wanted to be the greatest in His kingdom. Jesus constantly turns our ideas of power and influence upside down. Jesus tells us we must take the posture of children to enter God’s kingdom and that our humility will ultimately impact our influence in His kingdom.

In other scriptures Jesus issues a similar challenge by saying those who want to be greatest and first must take the posture of servants and slaves (Mark 10:42-45). This requires turning away from a mindset that we are strong, wise, and competent in ourselves and approaching God with a sense of weakness, dependence, and submission. We must recognize Him as our Father and King.

-Why do you think Jesus challenges us to become like children to enter His kingdom?

-Do you ever find it difficult to take a posture of weakness, dependence, and submission to God as your Father?

-How has pride prevented you from joining God in His kingdom activity?

  1. Becoming like this little child not only relates to our posture before God; it also relates to our posture before other people. The disciples were competing to be the greatest, greater than other disciples. This posture is the opposite of becoming servants; being servants means giving up desires for more power, prestige, and prosperity (than certain others), and serving all (especially the powerless, dishonored, and poor) through giving generously of ourselves and our money. Such service will lead to joining those at the bottom of the hierarchy (of greatness), those like the little child.

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