I have heard the words of Christ telling us to become like little children many times:
- At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:1-4)
- And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” (Mark 10:13-15)
- But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” (Luke 18:16-17)
I think many of us look at these verses only in regards to accepting the Gospel like a child. I’d like to add another element. The above verses talk about the Kingdom of God belonging to little children, and that we must humble ourselves like a child to be the greatest in the Kingdom. I have watched young children, countless times, live out the Kingdom with ease; it seems like the most natural thing in the world to them. I, on the other hand, often struggle to live out the Kingdom.
Let’s consider a few examples:
The mission outreaches that I have loved most were when we had children on the team; they went amongst the people with grace, love, gentleness, humility, frankness, and joy in a way the rest of us could not.
A child hears a teaching on being kind to others. The next week he/she wants to give his teacher flowers, share his lollies with his neighbour, or give chocolate to the lady across the street.
Or how about the young boy who was upset when a peer was denied lunch at school due to debt in his account – then went ahead and fund-raised to pay off the debt of other students in his school (in 2 weeks he raised enough to help nearly 300 students)! Here’s a very short clip with the young boy telling about it.
I think a few examples are all that’s necessary, because I’m sure you can think of many, many more yourself just from the children around you.
I am challenged by the lived-out faith of children. We are called to live out our faith with the same commitment and simplicity that they show.
Jesus prayed: Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:10)
If we are to pray for the Kingdom, then it is accessible to us here – and its usually left to us to bring it here! Let’s live out our faith like children. We know the commands and teachings of Scripture – let’s start living them out like the children around us.