In Matthew 18:1-9, the disciples ask Jesus, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of God?" Jesus then calls a little child to stand beside him. He said, "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." (Scripture from Matthew 18:2-4, New International Version)
What did Jesus mean when he explained children as the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? Will adults go to hell or be second best in the kingdom of heaven? How could an adult possibly become a child?
To understand this better, we need to discuss some characteristics of children.
1. Children are needy. - Children seem to always want that new toy or a sweet unhealthy snack, but their parent will often not let them have what they want. Why? Because parents are much wiser, they know that their children do not need these things. They may want them but their parents will do what is best for them, even if the child doesn't understand.
2. Children look up to their parents. - I remember when I used to look up to my parents for everything. I always needed help either from tying my shoe or to riding my bike. I can remember even wanting to never move out and live with them forever. I always looked to them for help. I am a teenager now, and I think I know how to do everything. I don't look up to my parents as much as I used to and I have made many mistakes because of that. Even though I am not a little child anymore, I still need to look up to my parents.
3. Children have faith their parents will supply their needs. - When I was younger, my family's financial status never crossed my mind. I knew my parents were paying their bills and I didn't have to worry about a thing. Even as a teenager, I still don't think of financial stuff as much. I know once I start driving and go to college, I will begin to worry about these things. I will start to have less faith that my parents will supply my needs, and I will begin to worry more.
What does this have to do with our lesson????
1. We like children are needy before God. He will do what is best for us.
2. We need to look up to God and seek his help and guidance in everything.
3. We need to have more faith in the Lord that He will supply our needs and take care of us.
Jesus wants us to become humble (not proud or arrogant; modest) ourselves before the Lord like little children. In doing this, you will become the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.