And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. (Matthew 18:3-5)
You must keep in mind that even though Jesus highly valued children, these children He mentions in today’s key passage represent spiritual believers. They represent people who realize that they are sinful, that they need a savior, that Jesus is that Savior, that He died on the cross and paid for their sins, and that they must place their faith and trust in Him.
Jesus is saying that when someone becomes like a little child and comes into the kingdom of God, when we welcome them, it is the same thing as welcoming Him.
Whenever anyone with that child-like faith goes from death to life, from darkness to light, from lost to being found, from being on the outside looking in, to the inside looking out, we should applaud! We should get excited! We need to celebrate and never get over the wonder of salvation. We need to welcome these child-like believers just like we would want to welcome Jesus Himself.
In our culture today, we go all out for different celebrations and milestones in people’s lives. We celebrate graduations. We celebrate engagements and marriages and anniversaries. We celebrate babies being born. And while all of these are wonderful events that are absolutely worth celebrating, what would it look like for us to go all out in celebrating someone choosing salvation? What would it look like for us to make a big deal about someone entering into the family of God?
If Jesus walked into your house right now, or even into your church on Sunday, I can assure you that you would be doing everything in your power to make Him feel welcome, to let Him know you’re excited He’s here, and to serve Him in any way you could. That’s the mentality and the posture Jesus is saying we should have for new believers.
So with that in mind, let’s choose to be welcome. Let’s choose to be excited. And let’s choose to celebrate with those who make the greatest decision they’ll every make: the decision to surrender their life to Christ.
Dear Lord, I want to be the kind of person who celebrates others when they enter into the family of God. Please give me the opportunity soon to show someone my excitement for them as they accept your free gift of salvation and help me to make them feel welcomed into your family. In Jesus’ name, amen.