Why did Jesus call us to become like children?
What spark, what power do they have that brings them to the attention of the Almighty God?
These weakest of all have been the brunt of violence, abuse, and neglect ever since the Fall. Even many Christians see them as a noisy nuisance. They’re necessary for the human race to continue.
Jesus’ interaction with children makes clear they’re here for more than propagating humanity. He ignored the murmurings of the grownups and brought children into his inner circle. He blessed them specifically. He told us we must become like them to enter the kingdom of Heaven. That must have startled the grownups then, and it should startle grownups now. It startles me, because most of the time I’m missing it.
Jesus chose the weakest, the least, and lavished love upon them. Pointed them out as examples for the rest to follow. Talk about backwards.
Children are known to be trusting. They ask unashamedly for what they want. They’re forgetful of offenses against them, and are soon playing with the child who stole their toy. They have pure faith in their parents, and as they grow to understand, in God.
But perhaps Jesus was also drawn to them because of what they didn’t have. Their view of the world is unclouded by despair and hate. They’ll talk to strangers regardless of how they look because they see people, not status. If they’re properly cared for, they have no fear about where their food and clothing will come from.
There are some elements of childishness that must be trained out of children so they can grow spiritually. But Jesus wasn’t speaking idly when he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matt. 18:3
How can you become more like a little child?