#DailyDevotion If You Want To Be Great, You Need To Grow Down
Matt. 18 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2He called a little child and had him stand in front of them. 3“I tell you the truth,” He said to them, “if you aren’t converted and become like little children, you will never get into the kingdom of heaven. 4If you become humble like this little child, you are the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5And if you welcome a child like this in My name, you welcome Me.”
It’s been suggested by at one of my professors at seminary Jesus has a sense of humor. Being he is truly human, this must be so. We can that here in this discourse. The disciples ask Jesus, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” They’re being serious. This is a big issue for them. What does Jesus do? He puts a child in their midst.
Now, thanks to Jesus and Christians all over the world, children have a different worth now they did then. In Jesus’ day, children were chattel, a mere possession. Male children were perhaps valued a little because of their potential but not much more than female children. Even in my lifetime, people’s attitude towards children has changed. I was born in the 60’s and I distinctly remember my grandmother putting me in my place, “Children should be seen and not heard.”
Yet for all that, Jesus places a child in their midst and says, “if you aren’t converted and become like little children, you will never get into the kingdom of heaven. 4If you become humble like this little child, you are the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” So much of what we try to do to be great and become Christians often times says we need to grow up first and become like adults. Jesus says we need to grown down and be like children. If we want to be great, we must become humble like a child.
Now when I think of humility I don’t think about children. Everything for them is about them. So humble here must mean something different than what we are thinking. What is Jesus thinking? He says we must be converted, changed and be like little children. How do those two thing come together? Well there is this, children are extremely needy. They cannot take care of themselves. Oftentimes we have to help them with everything. To be converted and be humble like a child is recognize you can’t do anything. You must go to God for help. God must give you what you need. Your own power, strength and reason will not do.
If you go to God in Jesus’ name and say, “I can’t do what is necessary to enter here. I need you to let me in.” You have grown down and become like a child. If you become beggars to God and your only hope is Jesus, you are the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Trusting in Jesus alone, even in his name is what makes you great in the reign and rule of God. Depending solely on Jesus and his gifts is being humble like a child. So great is Jesus’ name that Jesus says if you welcome a child in his name you welcome him. So quit trying to get people to grow up before bringing them into the womb of the Church. Help them to grow down and be like children who need everything. Christ Jesus in God will provide.
Heavenly Father, help us by your Holy Spirit, to become humble like little children, turn to you for all our help and to bear the name of your son Jesus Christ. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.