Become Like Children

boy sitting on bench while holding a book

“At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”  2 And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them 3 and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”  Matthew 18:1-4

“Become like children.” 

This must have been quite an ego-buster for the disciples.  After a hearty discussion of who is the greatest, Jesus picks a random child, puts him in the middle of them all, and says:  “Become like children.”

Now, before you laud your own personal immaturity as a faith virtue, let’s talk about what Jesus had in mind with this comparison.  Children are trusting.  They’re unassuming.  And they generally are less interested in being the “greatest” than adults are.  In short, Jesus says that they’re humble.

Humility is becoming a rare virtue in our culture.  Self-promotion, self-aggrandizement, and self-obsession are not only accepted these days, but are encouraged.

But in the Kingdom of God, humility never goes out of style.  Maybe that’s because our Leader has shown what true humility is: becoming like us, suffering in our place, dying for our sins.  Jesus doesn’t just tell us to be humble, He shows us how.

The world’s disdain for humility will continue, no doubt.  But that just means that a truly humble, Christ-like person will stand out in this world that much more as a beacon for Jesus. 

What a joy to be given a child-like faith by our God.  May He grant us the strength to live in true humility, that others might see the love of Jesus in us!

Gracious Heavenly Father, give us child-like faith!  Help us to trust in You, take away our egos and arrogance, and focus our eyes on Jesus and only Jesus.   In His name, Amen.

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