Serving The King
Seeking The Kingdom 
Freely you have received, freely give. 
Seeking The Kingdom  -  Little People
 

Mt18.1-4

In that hour came the disciples of Jesus impatiently saying “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of the heavens?” And Jesus summoning a young child, stood him in their midst. And saying “Truly, I say to you, if you do not turn about and be as young children you will in no way enter into the kingdom of the heavens. Therefore, whoever humbles himself as this young child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of the heavens.”

 

The Little People Are Introduced

In these four verses the disciples ask a question about the Kingdom and so starts a discourse by Jesus that introduces the concept of the ‘Little People’. There are two steps to becoming the greatest in the Kingdom. First, we must be converted and become like a child in order to enter the Kingdom and then we must be humble in order to be the greatest. Question answered, let’s move on. No! Let’s stop and consider a little further what has been said. The reference to a child is a reference to a child of infant school age or younger, probably under seven years of age. So, let us think of a five-year-old. Jesus is saying that we, mature, adults must be changed and become like a five-year-old if we are to enter the Kingdom in the first place, and then we must become as a humble five-year-old if we are to be the greatest. Not all five-year-olds are humble, but we must become like a humble five-year-old if we are to be the greatest within the Kingdom. A five-year-old is totally dependent upon his parents for food and clothing, for shelter and warmth, for love and affection. A five-year-old can walk and talk and yet he is very limited as to where he is allowed to walk (and play). He is very limited in what he can talk about, he really doesn’t know very much concerning adult conversations and it is the adults who come down to his level in order to include him in on their conversations.

Then there is the question of being humble. Perhaps the idea of humility is more appropriate for a toddler than a five-year-old. Perhaps a toddler rather than a five-year-old fits the bill of a humble small child. So, a five-year-old might be sufficient to enter the Kingdom, a toddler might be a better concept for a humble small child, for who is greatest in the Kingdom. And straight away we come across one of the mysteries of the Kingdom. In this world maturity develops with age; in the Kingdom, the more child-like, the nearer we become to being like a toddler, the greater we are. The Kingdom is the reverse of this world.

A little child might chatter away and pretend to be the fount of all knowledge, in reality, they know very little and are unable to converse about very much. It is the adults who have to get down to their level in order to include them in on the conversation. A five-year-old knows that whilst he has some strength, he is actually very weak in comparison to the adults and even in comparison to any teenagers who happen to be around. This is the frame of mind Jesus is telling us to have. For us to stop boasting in our achievements and to humbly acknowledge our limitations. Not to be proud, not to boast but to humbly accept that whatever we are able to achieve, in comparison to our heavenly Dad, are nothing worth writing home about.

 

 

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