At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 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 18:1-5
“Put God’s Son First. …
God came as a baby, giving and entrusting Himself to me. He expects my personal life to be a “Bethlehem.” Am I allowing my natural life to be slowly transformed by the indwelling life of the Son of God? God’s ultimate purpose is that His Son might be exhibited in me.”
– Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest
As Chambers says in his first words above, Jesus came as a baby. He knew full well what He was saying in Matthew 18. Jesus knew the trust that little children have in their parents, in their teachers, and in their friends. When I was a scout leader, our training mentioned that in the first five years of human development, our parents and / or guardians are the most influential people in our lives. For the next five or six years, our teachers (and others like scout leaders) are the most influential. After that, our friends are the most influential.
So, Jesus knew that the small children are sponges. They gather knowledge quickly and establish their value systems early. But most importantly, Jesus remembered trusting in His earthly parents, Joseph and Mary.
But we must also remember the words of Beth Moore, “God never called us to naivete. He called us to integrity. The biblical concept of integrity emphasizes mature innocence not childlike ignorance.”
We should have childlike wonder. We must trust Jesus as we trusted our parents at a young age. Yet, we must make wise decisions based on much time in prayer and Bible study.
Soli Deo Gloria. Glory to God Alone.