The disciples were always jockeying for position. They all wanted to be the first, the best, the closest to Jesus with a high position in the Kingdom. So we can imagine their surprise at the answer Jesus gave to the question in Matthew 18:1, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. 6 “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. 7 Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!
Jesus, Matthew 18:1-7, New International Version, accessed from BibleGateway.com
Children are a blessing from God and parenting is a sacred trust and a great responsibility. Jesus welcomed children.
We have seen throughout our study of the life and teachings of Jesus so far that it is not the rich and powerful who will be first in the Kingdom of God. It will be the meek, lowly, humble, peace-loving and childlike who have overcome the temptations of this world to become hardened, angry, greedy and violent who will lead the way into the kingdom of God.
Dig a Little Deeper:
What have you learned about the Kingdom from watching children”