Come To Christ As A Little Child

Matt. 18:1-6 - At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? 2  And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, 3  And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. 4  Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5  And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. 6  But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.


To accept the little ones is to accept Christ.  Luke 9:46-48


Not a leader, a follower, little pride.  Cannot be a good leader without being a good follower.

Define “child” – a person under the authority, domain and care of another.  A person not mature.  A person unable to supply their own necessities.  A person who lacks understanding.  A person who needs constant supervision and continual training in the simplest affairs of life.  A person who is completely trusting in their parents to do right, and to teach them to do right.


Christ set the child in their midst, so they could better understand what he was telling them.


The disciples wonder who is the greatest in the kingdom, and Christ answers that except they be converted (changed) they should not even be in the kingdom. (Verse 3-5)


­­Mark 10:42-45 - We do not exercise lordship

Luke 22:24-30 – No lordship, we are now servants though we are masters.  Now is the time to serve.  The time to sit and be revered is in the future, not now.

I.    With complete trust - not depending on yourself at all.

A.  Child jumping off a high place into his father’s arms.


John 3:1-3 Nicodemus must be born again before he can see the kingdom of God.  He  (like all sinners) must believe the gospel.

II.   Ready for instructions.

A.  Not with knowledge or our imput.

B.   A child doesn’t know anything.

C.   A child must be taught everything he knows.


III. No knowledge of the various kinds of sin.

A.  Knowledge of their dependence upon his parents.

B.   No knowledge about how God provides.

1.   Completely willing to let God provide.

2.   Complete trust when God says what He gives to us is good for us.  (Even if it’s spinach or broccoli, or a spanking.)

3.   “Read to me”: the same book over and over again.


IV. No willingness to willingly disobey.


V.  Wrath that doesn’t last very long.

  1. I Cor. 14:20 - Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.


Verse 3 – The word “convert” means to turn quite around or reverse, which indicates a change.  Verse 3 also explains what to be changed to.


Verse 4 explains that being converted is a humbling or being made lower than you think you are.  It is actually seeing yourself as God sees you.  It is putting ourselves in our rightful place.  This verse also indicates that the onlookers would see the complete dependence of the child before them and realize they only way they would ever be saved (enter the kingdom) would be to as dependent on God as this child is to his parents and other adults.  The child represents complete vulnerability, like a lamb in the midst of wolves, yet with total safety because God will take care of them.


Another point of verse 4 is: the humbled little child is the greatest in the kingdom.  Therefore we understand that everybody in the kingdom is the greatest.  There is no status (lower, middle, or upper class citizens), yet there will be different positions, or different stations of life, power, and authority.  Notice:

  1. James 2:1-7 – God condemns the prejudice caused by riches, power and authority. 
  2. I Peter 5 – God commands all elders to submit themselves to all elders.  There is no such thing as one elder being over another elder.  All elders are subject to one another, as they are subject unto God.
  3. Matthew 25:14-30 – The parable of the talents.  The man that had five talents and gained five more talents received exactly the same commendation as the man who had two talents and gained two more talents.
  4. Luke 19:11-28 – The parable of the pounds.  Each person had one pound.  The man who had one pound and gained 10 pounds was over 10 cities. The man who had one pound and gained 5 pounds was over 5 cities.


Verse 6 displays the judgment of God upon any who would harm the child.


Verse 5 and 6 contrast the two ways the child is received – for good or for evil.