The aim of this devotional study is to remind yourself that God is in control and that he cares for his children.
1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2 Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, 3 and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me. 6 Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
Observations and reflections
Context: In Matthew’s gospel the phrase “kingdom of heaven(s)” is used as a euphemism to the Jewish hearers (or readers) who reverently wish not to use the implied “kingdom of God” in public.
- Summarize Jesus’ answer to the question “who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
- Knowing the disciples, what was the motive in their question posed to Jesus? (v1)
- In the world today, who is typically regarded as the greatest?
- How is a child NOT like that?
- What are the typical characteristics of a little child? Name at least 6.
- Why would Jesus say that one would need to be “converted” to become like a little child before they “enter the kingdom of heaven”?
- What did Jesus imply in his answer to his disciples?
- Jesus highlights two characteristics of children. What are they? [hint: v4, 6]
Little children are generally joyful, simple-minded, innocent, unassuming, unpretentious, and trusting. Jesus said we have to become like this and gain access to the kingdom of God.
- Little children are simple-minded, unassuming, and unpretentious. In which way have you grown in humility during this year? How do you measure your growth in humility?
- Children are typically trusting and obedient. In which way have you grown in obedience and trust of God during this year? What prevents you from trusting obedience of God?
- Are you more/less joyful now than a year ago? How do you know it?
Reflecting on one of the three questions above, pray that God would create in you’re a simple, joyful, trusting childlikeness. in honesty share your thoughts and motives to God.