Jesus’ intriguing interaction with children…
1. In his interaction with his disciples Jesus makes an object lesson out of a child. He calls a child over and has him stand in their midst. Then he says, ‘I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.’ (18:3) In the NASB it translates it ‘unless you convert and become like little children…"
What does it mean for me to ‘convert’ to be like a child? Have you ever thought about experiencing a child conversion when you are already a believer?
2. In Matthew 19:13-15 it says that "little children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them."
"When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there." Fascinating that Jesus’ intent to was to put his hands on the little ones in order to bless them and pray for them.
3. Right after the Triumphal Entry Jesus is in the Temple. After healing the blind and the lame it records the following verses:
"But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the Temple area ‘Hosanna to the Son of David,’ they were indignant. ‘Do you hear what these children are saying?’ they asked him. ‘Yes,’ Jesus replied, ‘have you never read "From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise"’?"
It was the words of children that ticked off the religious leaders. Not only was he influencing the lives of adults, but Jesus was ‘ruining’ the lives of the next generation of Jews. And all to fulfill a prophecy that Jesus pointed out to them…
How often do I value children? Do I watch them and study them? Why do I pray that I would be more mature in my faith (i.e. grown up) yet fail to pray that I would become more like children?
Maybe there is a paradox in our spiritual lives that we oftentimes fail to recognize: maybe growing up in our faith as followers of Jesus only happens when we are becoming ‘spiritually younger and younger’.
God, convert us to be like little chidren…