As adults with such sophistication we may believe we have a great advantage over our children. After all, we’ve been around longer to learn how this world works. With age comes wisdom right? If this is true, then why does the Bible put such great emphasis on children?
- “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 on little child like this in My name receives me. But 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 depth of the sea.’” (Matthew 18:1-6)
- “Then little children were brought to Him that He might put His hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.’” (Matthew 19:13-14)
We can see from scripture some key points Jesus makes regarding children:
Children are greatest in the kingdom of heaven. I imagine this is likely due to their innocence and willingness to come to Jesus in faith.
We are to become like children too if we are to be in heaven. The longer we live in the world, the more hardened I believe our hearts become. As I commented earlier, I think we as adults tend to think we can figure things out on our own and don’t always seek God as a result.
We are to be humble. Young children aren’t usually afraid to ask for help. They know there are limits to their strength and abilities. I believe God would have us recognize that compared to Him, we too are in need of our Father’s help.
Don’t cause a child to stumble. Jesus tells others to receive children in His name as He has done and not to cause them to sin. Children are very impressionable and I believe those who cause a child who has faith in Him to stumble will be held accountable. It’s obvious God has great compassion for children.
Go to God like a child. Children usually run to a loving parent without hesitation to have their needs met. This is what I believe God wants of us.
In summary, I recognize from the above verses that God wants us to be like little children, humbly trusting Him, coming to Him for our needs to be met, not causing others to stumble. In looking at my children, there is so much perspective that is gained regarding God’s love for us. It is easier now to see why God has such a soft spot in His heart for children.
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Scripture references are quoted from the NKJV.