LITTLE CHILDREN CAN TEACH US A LOT! All of us were children at one time learning, growing, being messy, crying, laughing, and being satisfied with the simple things of life. Sometimes an empty box held far more value for us than a fancy toy. And most of us I think tended to take things at face value instead of analyzing everything and everybody. Most children can find real satisfaction and contentment in food, clothing, and housing. For the most part they have few worries. They leave that stuff to the adults. Sometimes I think it would be nice to be a child again as I watch my great-grandchildren enjoy life. Adults appear to worry too much about things like position in life. It wasn’t much different in Jesus’ time on earth. “At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” (Matthew 18:1 NIV). Sometimes the Apostles appeared to be really dumb. Had they not just recently become aware that Jesus was God’s son and that God totally approved of Him? But Jesus as always was gracious in His actions and He used a little child to make a great point for all of us in life.
“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,’” (Matthew 18:2-5 NIV). The Apostles believed that there would be a heavenly kingdom and that people like themselves would be a part of it and certainly there would be positions in the kingdom and some would have higher positions than others. So the discussion among themselves now opened up to get Jesus’ input as they looked among themselves to see what the “pecking order” was. The gospel of Luke chapter 9 describes the situation as, “An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest,” (Luke 9:46 NIV). Jesus’ answer was not what they expected. Jesus emphasized two things in this situation that the Apostles seemed to struggle with: childlike faith and humility. As Luke reveals it, “For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest,” (Luke 9:48 NIV). Did the disciples ever figure out the answer to their question? You might want to reflect on that question. While you are in thought you might want to consider how you compare to a child in your faith in Jesus, humility in life, and service for God.