Matthew 18: 2 – 4
GOING IN LOW
This child thing is overrated, don’t you think? They have no money, can’t think straight, are needy, whiny, and high maintenance. Yeah, they can be fun … some of the time. But what a responsibility. And, no guarantees on our investment. They can break our hearts as many times as they may make it better. Not that we are counting.
Is Jesus really saying “whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” This is totally backwards. We grow up; we don’t grow down. We are out to make something of ourselves, not nothing of ourselves. We want to be smart about all this, right? Not stupid. Smart will make us successful. Successful will make us money. Money will make us less needy, more independent, more confident, more influential. Sounds like the ticket, right? So, what are you saying Jesus? None of this matters?
We are in the middle of one of the great paradoxes of the gospels. Whatever gets you somewhere in this world may actually keep you out of the kingdom of heaven … “unless you change and become like little children.” In a clear admonition to all who think they have it figured out, Jesus is saying we have it backwards. Best to go in “low.” That successful adult ego we have taken such pride in and made invincible, well … let’s think again. Jesus came to earth by way of a stable, an Econo-lodge, not the Ritz-Carlton. And, everywhere in his story, he refuses to take the bait which he is repeatedly offered that would give him a safe and secure and successful position in this world.