Specifically Matthew 18:2-4
Jesus not only used parables in order to make his teachings vivid, but as we see here in the first part of this chapter, He used object lessons as well. Envision with me for a moment Jesus calling a small child to come to Him, to sit before Him and his disciples, maybe even sit upon His lap. Jesus proceeds to answer the disciples’ question, “Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?” by using this small child as an example.
As I continued to read this passage, I realized that what Jesus was teaching these men, and all believers to follow, is plain and simple…in the mind of a child. Children do not desire power and authority; they do not possess pride or prejudice. Children are innocent, pure and teachable. With children there are no gray areas, just black and white. They know nothing of the ways of the world. They are quick to forgive, and full of love.
I think of my own children and how when they were little they very easily knew right from wrong and good from bad. But as they have grown, I have seen the world creep into their hearts and minds. I have seen them struggle with making right choices, with turning away from temptation, and with forgiving someone who has hurt them.
As we grow and mature in our lives, we become aware of our free will, and the choices the world has to offer. We become proud and self-centered. We start to harbor bitterness toward those who have wronged us, and we would rather talk about them behind their backs than confront them in love offering them restitution and hope.
This chapter really spoke to me about what the life of a true disciple of Jesus Christ really looks like. We are to turn from sin and temptation; we are to forgive as Christ has forgiven us; and we are to show mercy. Just as little children live their lives – simple, pure, humble, and willing to be the least of all – we are to live the same way.
The teachings that Christ presents here are very direct and simple. Live as a child would live! It is only with the innocent confidence of childlike faith that we can truly be in a right relationship with God and live in freedom!
My prayer for you today is that you would become a child at the feet (or lap) of Jesus!