AS A LITTLE CHILD
(Matthew 18:3) "... "Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven."
This verse has been used by preachers and teachers to teach lessons on child abuse, institutional care for orphans, how to raise children, etc. But the lesson Jesus was teaching was not about little children but how grown people who had been converted and become as little children were to conduct themselves and the dire results of mistreating such. Jesus uses a little child to teach his lesson. The little child is the epitome of humility and he tells them that must turn about and become like (as) the little child in order to be a part of the kingdom of heaven and to be great therein.
Notice the language, "whoso receives one such little child in my name receiveth me." He is not saying "he who received a little child" but one SUCH as the little child. "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." (Matthew 18:6). He is not talking about mistreating little kids but "one of these little ones WHICH BELIEVE IN ME." Grown people, believers, who have become as little children.
The way the world reacts toward such a believer is the same as their reaction toward the Lord. He teaches this same lesson in the judgment scene of Matthew 25 when he tells of being "... an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." (Matthew 25:35-40). Then in verses 41-45 is the converse side of the matter.
It is contingent upon people to be converted and be as little children and then to humble ourselves and serve others who are in need even as though we served the Lord.
Return to the Daily Devotions