With the new season we have a new series, Coming Home for Christmas. Our text was Matthew 18:1-4. The disciples of Jesus had broken out into an argument about greatness. Jesus entered the conversation by calling over a small child and declaring that child to be the example of true greatness in the kingdom of heaven. He then took the lesson one step further,
“Unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
What is it about little children that qualifies them for entrance in the kingdom? The answer is humility.
“Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
A small child has no problem recognizing his dependence, he is not yet interested in running the universe – in fact he is very happy to know that his parents are stronger and wiser than he is. A small child has no works of righteousness to carry into the gates of heaven. He has open hands and a readiness to receive with total dependence.
Recently a little child of our own went to meet Jesus with his open hands and enter the kingdom of heaven. At 3 in the morning he breathed his last small breath of earthly air. He had no righteous works, no great victories of faith or obedience to be remembered or to take with him. But no little child was loved better. The intensity of love he received from his parents and family and the medical staff was just a taste of what was to come. At the gates of heaven, Jesus stands ready with abundant righteousness of his own to spare and graciously dispense into the open hands of a humble and beloved child.
We grieve with this family and we hope with them for that blessed day when sorrow and sighing will fly away and we will join their son in a world untouchable by death.
Tom Brown is the planting pastor of Vintage Faith Church in Wichita. Tom and his wife, Mandy, have worked together in ministry for 18 years and have four children. More about Pastor Tom Brown