What Jesus Did! 'To Be a Child!' — Matthew 18:2-4

Thursday, August 19, 2021

[After being asked who is greatest in the Kingdom,] Jesus called a little child to him and put the child among them. Then he said, "I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.
— Matthew 18:2-4 NLT

Key Thought

Without being syrupy or sappy, Jesus' words hit us like a cold slap in the face. "Unless you change," he insists, "you won't enter the kingdom of heaven!" Jesus isn't subtle. Jesus is not politically correct. Jesus is multi-cultural as long as all cultures surrender to his Kingdom rule and become a new culture, the culture of the humble. If we are honest, we spend most of our childhood trying to grow up too fast. We don't want to be children. Children are the ones hurt by divorce, abuse, abandonment, poverty, and predators. Children can't vote, can't drive, and can't date. There are many things they can't choose to do. While on one hand children rule the day because of permissive or non-involved parents, on the other hand they can be in great danger and suffer great abuse. Who wants to be vulnerable, powerless, and humble like a child?

"Unless you turn from your sins and become like little children!" I MUST change. I MUST be humble. I MUST surrender to the King of glory so I can find life. Only then, in becoming a child, like God himself in Jesus our Immanuel, will I find greatness!

Today's Prayer

O God, Creator of the universe and Almighty Lord of my life, since you humbled yourself and became a child for me, I now surrender my heart and humble myself to become a child in your presence. Make me fit for your service and use my weakness in your strength to bring yourself glory and to bring others to your salvation. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Matthew 1:18-23; 2:5-11
  • John 3:3, 5
  • Mark 10:14-15


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Illustration of Matthew 18:2-4 NLT —  So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.