This is a really interesting two-fold question. It’s essentially asking what is the kingdom of God and how can it be received. Consequently, we will answer the receive part first and describe the kingdom of God next month. So let’s see what the Scriptures say about receiving the kingdom as a ‘little child’.
Jesus said, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:14–NIV)
Jesus’ statement is recorded in the three synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) so it is important. His disciples were annoyed about the children that were being brought to Jesus, as well as at those that were pressing in to see him. Jesus saw these situations as teaching moments.
A child is totally dependent on his caretaker. Think of a child, simple, innocent, with no agenda; skipping along, going where their parent goes, trusting and asking no questions. If they let go of his or her hand and run ahead and get hurt, the parent says, “it’s okay,” and gently binds their wounds. “Next time you will trust me more when I caution you.” When the child is troubled, the parent comforts him; and when in danger, protects him. The parent shows unconditional love for the child.
Now think of us; are we like the child, harmless and inoffensive, free from resentment, meek, humble and without pride or personal ambitions? Or are we self-sufficient and trusting in ourselves as we navigate through life? Jesus says we must be like that innocent, trusting child, dependent on our Heavenly Father to guide us through life: to such belong the kingdom of heaven. When we come as a child, our sufficiency is in Christ, not in ourselves. Have you come to Jesus with that little-child like faith? He is waiting to receive you with open arms. Remember, Jesus is the only way to heaven and eternal life.
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