1At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them 3and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.—Matthew 18:1-4
“You will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” He speaks the truth—some will not enter the kingdom, will not be saved, will perish, will die in their sin, and spend eternity in hell. Hard truth? Yes, but loving. What is more loving than truthfully telling everyone about heaven, hell, and eternity?
This is the single most important question for every single person to ask themselves: Where will they spend eternity? Heaven or hell. Jesus doesn’t leave us without a way to Him in heaven. He gives the answer of how to enter the kingdom of heaven in verses three and four. In verse three Jesus taught, “Unless you turn and become like children you will never enter,” and in verse four He says, “Whoever humbles himself like this child,” that is the one who enters and not only enters, but “is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
My father used to tell me it was time to grow up and stop acting like a child. He was right to do this for he was teaching me to be responsible and the value of hard work. So what is Jesus teaching here? To get into the kingdom we need to be irresponsible or selfish like little children? No! Jesus is speaking here of an attribute children live by every day; they are dependent. They are not able to live on their own. They need parents, adults, and outside help to flourish. This is why parents so often hear, “Dad can you help me?” or, “Mom, I can’t do this, can you?”
How do we get into the kingdom of heaven? And equally important, how do we live once in the kingdom? Jesus is very clear. You can’t miss it; you must depend on another. “Whoever humbles himself like this child,” shows us that the way up is down! We think, “I am able, I don’t need anyone else, leave me be, I am fine!” No, you are not!
It is time to acknowledge the truth, repent, and turn to Christ, being completely dependent; like a little child. Do you see the beautiful picture of a little child, so needy and helpless being held securely, lovingly, and powerfully in the big, strong arms of their heavenly Father?—Norm Millar
· How dependent am I upon the Lord for all that I need in life?
· What is the evidence of my dependence?
Prayer – Father, I want to be childlike in my faith, but my pride keeps getting in the way. Please do what you need so my attitude is always pleading with You to save me, help me, strengthen me, sustain me, lead me, be my ability, and equip me in all things. In Jesus’ name, Amen.