At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child to him and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:1-3)
Often as adults we tell little kids they need to “grow up.” In essence we say to them, “You need to catch up to us.” But if you look at what Scripture has to say, Jesus turns that around completely. He tells us that to get into the kingdom of God, children don’t need to catch up to adults, but adults need to catch up to children.
But what is it about children that we should be modeling in the kingdom of God? Well, what Jesus is referring to is the one thing that every child comes into this world with (in fact they have no choice in a way), and that is trust.
No one is more trusting than a little child. Even without being taught, children learn to trust their parents, to believe what their parents say, to believe they are going to be fed and clothed and taken care of, and to know they can always run to their parents whenever they are in trouble.
That is exactly the kind of childlike faith that it takes to get into the kingdom of God. Spiritually speaking, we are not born with that kind of faith, and that is why Jesus said, “unless you change and become like little children” (Matthew 18:3).
Are you guilty of expecting kids to grow up and be like you? Or are you following Jesus’ instruction and learning to trust and have faith like a child? Your Heavenly Father wants nothing more than for you to trust Him fully and whole-heartedly, remembering that He will always take care of you no matter what.
Dear Lord, thank you for being such a loving, caring Heavenly Father. I’m so grateful that I can trust you with every aspect of my life. I pray that you will help me to grow in my trust and faith in you and that my faith will become more child-like as I pursue you more. In Jesus’ name, amen.