Become like children


#1

In The Gospel According to Matthew, Chapter 18 Verse 3 states:

 Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.     

Is the following observation correct?    
 The child is held up as a model for the disciples because of children's complete dependence on, and trust in, their parents. The disciples must have dependence on and trust in the Lord.

#2

Very good. And simple, like it should be. But the model is for all of us, not just the disciples in Jesus’ time. :slight_smile:


#3

Along with your own thoughts, I think He was also intimating that children have such a sense of awe and wonder and natural inclination to believe. As we mature, we sometimes fall prey to cynical and jaded thought which are powerful obstacles to faith.


#4

Yes, that is the reason why, in another place, we are called the “poor in spirit”. Because the poor are also completely dependent on God.


#5

No, this is connected to the born again thing, obviously when you get born again, you become a child again.


#6

Actually, being born again with the Holy Spirit is essentially being cleansed from original sin and adopted into the family of God. This does not automatically make us act like
‘children’ in their trust and confidence in others. Becoming like children therefore means that we ‘humble’ ourselves and have trust and confidence in Our Lord Jesus Christ who leads us to the Father. We need to depend on His grace each moment of the day, repenting of our sins when we fail and trusting in His love that we are forgiven. This is really a process of a lifetime as we continually sin because of our weakness. We need
to understand that God’s grace will never fail us, as long as we are trying, with His grace,
to do His will in the hope that we will enter Heaven at the end of our lives.


#7

Being born again is becoming God’s child, the two verses Matthew 18:3 and John 3:3-7 are about the same, become a child in order to see and enter the kingdom of heaven, here and now, spiritually. You are spiritually (in spirit) born again, become a child (spiritually) and enter the spiritual kingdom of heaven.

“Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven”

“Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above. Nicodemus said to him, ‘How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born? Jesus answered, ‘Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be astonished that I said to you, “You must be born from above.”


#8
  1. Nell is right.
  2. You are also right.

Your respective answers are not mutually exclusive.


#9

Yes, this is true, but there are also other things about children that we must imitate in our relationship with God.

  1. Children take correction well. They don’t know, and accept that you do. They don’t get indignant and defensive.

  2. Children say what they mean and do what they think/believe. In other words, children aren’t hypocritical.

  3. Children are simple, and take delight in simple things, especially in God’s creatures. As adults, we often ignore/overlook the natural beauty and magnificence of the created world around us, preferring our own achievements and creations to God’s.

  4. Children are interested in people and don’t think twice about wanting to know more about a person, or helping them with something (even mundane things like chores). They love to please others.

There’s much we can learn from our own children, if we only take the time to see it.


#10

To have a good relationship with God, you need to imitate Jesus Christ, not children. On the other hand, children develop by imitating adults, so in this case, we the children of God, should imitate Jesus Christ and his followers, we should all be like one person, Jesus Christ, and he like the Father our God.


#11

Yes, this is also true, but let’s not ignore Christ’s exhortation to become like little children. You can read into the text that He’s referring to Baptism if you like, but that’s not what He, in the text, actually says. Becoming “children of God” is meaningless if we neither know what it is to be a child, nor how to behave as such as one of God’s own.


#12

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