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“He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them.  And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 18.2-4

Children in Jesus’ day, although highly treasured, were not greatly revered.  Their parents, their father in particular, literally “owned” them.  In the pecking order of a 1st century household they ranked above the servants, but only slightly.  The disciples, like many adults in that time generally thought that children should be out of sight or certainly out of ear-shot when important “adult” matters were going on.

Therefore, Jesus’ action and words here were extraordinary.  And as we know from Nicodemus in John 3, very hard to swallow.

Children are very concrete in their relationship to the world.  Something hot hurts when you touch it (although they often learn that by touching something hot).  Mothers and fathers are supposed to love their kids.  God exists and Jesus loves me.  After all, the Bible tells me so.  And although I don’t like it, if I do something bad I’m going to catch it from the adults. I don’t have to be the most important person in the room as long as I know someone loves me.

Prayer is talking to God just like you’d talk to anyone else.  There’s only one way to sing-for joy.  If I fall asleep in church, God loves me anyway.  My questions, spoken alud even in worship are honest ones that deserve an answer.

What happens in our “maturing” that robs us of the innocent trust that leads to greatness in God’s sight?

What do you think?

© 2016 by Stephen L. Dunn.  You have permission to reprint this provided it is unchanged, proper authorship is cited, it is in a publication not for sale, and a link is provided to this site or to For all other uses, contact Steve at 








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