Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
I love working with children. For a while I worked as a substitute teacher, and I worked with grades 3 through 12. I primarily love English classes, since that’s closer to my background and college degree. And the source material for middle school and high school feels right at home.
But I found that once students reach middle and high school, there’s a much greater chance that they don’t have any use for us as adults. For example, I worked at a high school, middle school and elementary school that all lie right next to each other. My days in the middle and high school were pretty rough – the students had little or no respect for me as a teacher or adult. But my days in that elementary school were among my favorites. By the end of one day, one of the students even came up and gave me a hug. When they’re that young, they still care about the approval of adults. They want to make us happy. And they can be a real treat to be around.
That’s really the attitude that Jesus was speaking about. He didn’t say that we had to act like children, but that we had to have that childlike attitude dependence upon adults, and more specifically, their parents. At that point, the disciples were trying to figure out who was the best. Jesus saw that the children knew who was the most important – He was. The children hung upon His every word, and they crowded around Him to be as close to Jesus as possible.
That’s the attitude Jesus wants us to take. Rather than seeking glory for ourselves in any area of life, He wants us first to seek Him as those children did – getting as close to Him as possible so that His ways and words will guide our every step.
Today, pray that the Lord will give you that childlike dependence upon Him. Draw close to Him, and look closely for His guidance for your life in the hopes that His words will be your words, and His steps, your steps.
Reflection copyright © 2017 Douglas Blaine.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.