Read Matthew 18:1-6
Kids matter to God. He values them enough to point to them when He talks about how to be great
In fact, when the disciples asked Jesus the “Who-is-the-greatest?” question, He answered by bringing a child right to the middle of the crowd. A small child, probably under the age of seven. I’m guessing it was one who probably stood outside the disciple-wall that likely surrounded Jesus the Christ as He walked. As He taught. The grown-ups wanted to know which of them was the greatest. Like children themselves, they each wanted Jesus to pick them as the best. Spiritual sibling rivalry, I guess. But these childlike tendencies had nothing to do with the child-likeness that Jesus Christ referred to when He said,
(U)nless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven (v3).
Imagine those disciples’ faces as Jesus told them of their need for change. Not to be the greatest, but in order to even enter into the kingdom of heaven, each one of them would have to do a 180 degree turn and become like this little kid. The dirty, timid one hiding in Jesus’ robes, or maybe His mama’s long hair. And to be the greatest, well, that would require a humbling of themselves, dismissing any and all self-reliance. It would demand that they go into training mode, exalting only God Himself as the very all-in-all of their lives, admitting their own need for training in how to even live. Yes, the kind of living that children do.
Kids liked Jesus. And, quite frankly, I find it amazing that a child would even still be around after the discussion they’d just ended. Go ahead and look at the end of Matthew 17. See what I mean? They’d been talking about taxes! Yawn. (I speak for the children here. Well, okay, and I admit, taxes don’t thrill me either.) You know what I think? I think Jesus was probably just as anxious to get that part of the conversation over as the kids were. I think He was itching to get one of those little bundles of life and energy and youth really close to Himself because He loved kids so much!
Jesus valued kids because kids are full of value. We know it, right? But do we live it? Do we believe it enough to call attention to it? To emulate them? Jesus did. So should we.