Matthew 18:1-5, “At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who then is 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.”
The greatest. When you think of the “greatest” person, you might think of the most well known person in the world, the richest person in the world, or see a parent/grandparent as the greatest. Jesus tells us the answer to the question, “Who enters Heaven?”
Who can enter Heaven? Is there a secret handshake? Is there a secret trick or a special key needed? No! What is required is to become a child. Not in the physical sense. You must become a child in the spiritual sense. This is the key to entry.
Children are young by definition. Youth means inexperience in situations, lacking knowledge in some areas, but the crucial key is that children are always wanting to learn. I have children and I know that they are like sponges. They are always soaking up information and are always learning. Learning to emulate my wife and I. This is what Jesus wants. Emulation. Emulate Jesus’ perfect life.
Jesus does not want someone coming in with their “adult” way of thinking. Adults tend to think that they know everything already, refuse to change, and are resistant to doing what they are told to do. That is not saying that some children act this way as well. This is a learned behavior from adults. The passage is saying that Jesus needs someone to be open to listening to God and acting on what God says. We need to have faith in things seen and unseen. We need to believe that God is who He says He is. We need to be humble and give all the praise to God, instead of self. We did not conquer sin and death on our own. We need Jesus. Jesus’s blood that takes away the sin of the world.
Paul says in I Corinthians 13:11, “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” Is this a contridiction to what Jesus said? No. This refers to childish ways that are contrary to God. As a child without God, we are sinful. As a child of God, our sin has been taken away. We are made new.
Finally, John 3:1-5 states, “There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”
Become a child. A child of God. Born again. Jesus is waiting for you to come to His lap and sit down with Him. Be there to behold the glorious face of the Son of God. I cannot think of a better time than when we go to Heaven to be with God and Jesus. How awesome that will be! How great is out God, creator of Heaven and Earth. King of Kings and Lord of Lords. First and the Last. Alpha and Omega. So many names that all lead to back to our Father in Heaven. Cry out to Your Father. He is waiting for you. Don’t make Him wait. Be born again and enter the arms of the Father.
You are an awesome God. How great is the honor to serve You. You deserve all the honor and all the praise and all the thanks for all that You are. I pray that you change us to be more childlike. More trusting in You. Leaning on You. Depending on You. Without You, we die. With You, we live. I want to live, Father God, I want to live. Eternal life paid for by Jesus’ blood. No other payment required. No other terms and conditions. Just You inviting us into Heaven. What a glorious day that will be. Thank you.
In your great and powerful, mighty and strong name we love and pray,