Thursday 03 November 2022

Bible Book:

'Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.' (v. 3)

Matthew 18:1-14 Thursday 3 November 2022

Psalm 99


Children feature prominently in today’s reading, or perhaps it is the theme of 'being 'child-like' that we read in these verses. Jesus often spoke of children when describing the nature of God's kingdom. The question opening today's reading came from a disciple who wanted to know who ranked highest in the kingdom of heaven. (v. 1) Surprising the questioner and perhaps the crowd as well, Jesus informed those present they should strive to become like children.

However, Jesus didn’t say it was primarily the faith of a child which garnered God’s reward. He said it was the quality of humility within the person, humility like that of a child, which indicates the depth of our faith. It seems confusing to compare the humility of a child to the faith of a believer, but remember that children are naturally much more humble than adults. Their voices are not as widely recognised, their fears are more easily dismissed.

We may not have felt blessed by this reality, but when we look back to how we were as children, I hope we can appreciate how precious our fledging faith was. Indeed, Jesus went on to praise the place of children in the kingdom of God.

Jesus vehemently disliked anyone who creates a barrier to the faith of a child. In words of genuine agitation, he deemed preventing a child’s faith in Christ worthy of being drowned with a heavy stone around the neck.(v. 6)

It’s clear how strongly Christ felt that no one’s faith be precluded from growing by anyone else. So often the attitude of those in the Church is that of the old adage, 'Children should be seen but not heard.' If that view towards children in the house of God had continued unquestioned, we may have seen the end of organised religion itself. 

It is crucial to recognise the significance of children to Jesus, as he pledged to them the ownership of the kingdom of God.


To Ponder:

  • If you were welcomed in the Church as a child, what did you learn about Jesus that has continued with you into adulthood?
  • If the opposite is true for you, what opportunities do you think you missed to learn about the love of God?
  • If you could change anything about the lives of children, how likely would faith play a part in your efforts?


 Oh Lord of all love and compassion, help us to recall the simplicity and trust of children, and let us never become a stumbling block to the faith of any of your little ones.

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