“And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”
Today’s verse passage reminds us that God’s economy is very different from our own. Where conventional human wisdom values personal strength and independence, God values humility and self-confessed reliance upon Him. On several occasions the Lord directed His audience’s attention to the little children, referring to them as “the greatest in the kingdom” (Matthew 18:4). Today’s passage goes a step farther, insisting that without adopting a child-like disposition toward God, a person simply will not—in fact, cannot—be granted admittance into His kingdom. So what exactly is the Lord looking for? What childlike attitudes must a person display before God will grant forgiveness of sins and entry into His kingdom? To begin with, God expects us to believe Him. The default setting in little children is to place full confidence in their parents as reliable guides to the truth. Our Lord began His public ministry with a call to believe His message. “The time is fulfilled,” cried Jesus, “and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:15). Second, little children rely solely on their parents for their daily needs. Toddlers don’t make lavish, sophisticated plans for what they will achieve or acquire in the future. They look to their parents, fully assured that they will provide for all that is needful, even if they haven’t the slightest clue what that this! The New Testament is replete with reminders to us that we should not be anxious about our felt needs (Matthew 6:25-34; Philippians 4:6-8). We may rest assured that God will provide (Philippians 4:19). Third, and perhaps most precious of all, infants and toddlers display unfeigned delight in seeing their parents. There is a mysterious and beautiful relationship between parents and their tiny offspring, particularly between the baby and its mother, that cannot be fully explained with words. The love between them flows in both directions creating a bond unlike any other in the created order. This is what God wants with us. God’s first and greatest command to us is to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30). This is the appropriate response to the Holy God of heaven, who created us and loved us with an awesome redemptive love (Romans 5:8; 1 John 4:19). In our unregenerate state we were of course unable to love God in the way that He deserved. Praise God, He has provided even for that need. Moses prophesied concerning the new birth, “the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live” (Deuteronomy 30:6). May we live today as those who truly love and trust our God, for His glory and the good of others.
God bless and encourage you today, dear saints,