At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child and had him stand among them. And 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.” Matthew 18:1-4
Jesus and the prophets were trying to make things very clear for the people by using parables and stories that portrayed the will of God as revealed in the scriptures. The only scriptures that they had available were in the Old Testament, and what God wanted and was going to fulfill in Christ is very clear in the Psalms, Isaiah, and the Minor Prophets. But instead of creating His sermons by merely quoting Isaiah or David, Jesus told the same message of repentance – you cannot stay the same — in a fresh way
Here, Jesus said you must be like children to enter the kingdom. Jesus was looking for HUMILITY. Having humility does not mean staying in the background or being shy. Think about a young child. A young child does not shrink into the background, but makes his presence known. He wakes up happy, holding no grudges, and he does not “expect” anything but accepts the food and the agenda offered for the day. He is happy – no, THRILLED – with little surprises, and he is fascinated with Creation. With no pride, he gives thanks to God at night. He loves his parents and does not correct his authority as if he always had a better idea. He falls to sleep and dreams of playing, filled with happy thoughts and no expectation or demands on what the morrow will bring.
We cannot enter God’s kingdom if we do not humble ourselves and get this happy, grateful, joyful attitude. We must not complain or have certain demands and expectations; rather, we must be thankful and full of praise for this great Father and King! I love this genius plan of God’s!
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