Normally we do not think of wisdom in children, but it is there. I am not referring to wisdom in the sense of intelligence or knowledge, but as character qualities Jesus points to as very important. Jesus used a child to illustrate a lesson the disciples needed to learn. They “came to Jesus saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven”” (Matthew 18:1). Mark 9:34 says they were “arguing or disputing” over this issue, indicating it was not a casual conversation.
This was one of those moments that needed a visual illustration to get the point of His answer across. To do this, Jesus “called to Him a child, He put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3–4).
There is wisdom in humility and according to these verses, without it we “will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” It is a very strong statement that is often overlooked. Humility in child-like simplicity is essential for kingdom work. It will never be self-seeking, but always promoting the glory of God and the preeminence of Jesus. Will we “turn and become like children” to make way for Jesus and His wisdom? The consequences of pride stops the progress of God’s work wherever pride is found. Jesus will vomit such out of His mouth (Revelation 3:15-17).
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