#0050 Jesus said: suffer the little children to come unto Me

1 At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?

2 And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,

3 And said, Verily I say unto you, except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

5 And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.

6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

7 Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!

Matthew 18: 1-7 (KJV)

 

Today I want to continue talking about this scripture in Matthew 18. Up to this point, we’ve only been hitting some high points in it; but I think it would be prudent in the wake of world events throughout 2015 to delve deeper into this particular counsel given to us by Jesus. Two postings ago, I mentioned how Christians and other students of the Bible tend to quote things and focus on things in small concise sections. They do this for a variety of reasons; but generally speaking I think this approach is a fundamental mistake especially for those who are serious about finding truth and enlightenment in the scriptures. I know, for me, it has proven to be less than an inspiring venture when I have gone down that road in the past. For people who like using the Bible as a resource to buoy up and advance their predetermined, static beliefs about God this technique works well for them. They can go through the Bible clipping and gathering a bouquet of specific scripture quotes then present them as if they were God’s words—truth spoken directly from His lips. This is referred to as spinning the facts or the ideas into something aligned specifically with one’s own biased points and perspectives. On the other side of things— those who are actually interested in gleaning spiritual truth and God’s inspiration and comfort—there is a different approach they can try. Some basic techniques I use are: 1) considering the source; who wrote the scripture; is it Old Testament or New; is it a Jesus text? 2) Identifying the main point and/or looking for the big picture 3) holding new ideas and concepts up against what you already know to be true about God. The best approach is to always go in with new eyes and with a soft Godlike heart. Avoid falling into the pitfall of assuming other’s interpretations are correct. This is denominational thinking and this perspective will tend to lead you to one dead-end after another. This denominational perspective is good for little more than defending your preconceived, static position. A premier example of this sites the big rift that exists in the church over the morality of homosexuality.  

In this chapter in Matthew; what is the main point Jesus is making here? I have to confess that for the longest time, I thought Jesus was using the little child image to a certain degree in a literal context. As I’m reading it now, though I don’t think He is. (I will bold the parts I want to emphasize) Using the child as a visual aid, Jesus says in verses 3-5:

3 …except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

5 And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.

  • In Verses 4, Jesus is talking about someone who isn’t the little child but who has the humble demeanor of the little child. Jesus says that person is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.
  • In verse 5 He talks about another person; if the actual (visual aid) little child is the 1st  person and the theoretical someone who has humbled himself as the little child is the 2nd person then this other one He mentions who receives person #2 (with the humility of the little child) is the 3rd person
  • Based on this the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven is someone who, not only has the humble demeanor of a little child; but is most like Jesus Himself and therefore is best able to represent Him and His message about the Kingdom of heaven.

Moving down to the next two verses…

 6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

7 Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!

In these verses yet another (a 4th) person is introduced. This person is the exact opposite of person #3. In verse 6 this theoretical person is positioned to offend—not person #1(the little child)—but person #2 (the one who is humble like a child). In verse 7 Jesus starts out saying that while humans are yet journeying on the road of life, it’s inevitable for them to encounter some bad stuff along the way; in other words sh*t’s going to happen! But in the second part He says those who deliver the sh*t are not favored in God’s eyes. In the following links we revisit 1) The Donald at a rally in my hometown of Grand Rapids, MI and 2) the Governor of Michigan, Rick (the pri*k) Snyder caught out in mid offense, you might say. In The Donald clip can you sense that those whom Trump is blasting might possess—what Jesus described as the humility of the little child? This whole event gives me great pause to once again scratch my head and wonder—what were (are) are the Evangelical Christians thinking backing this guy? Have they been reading the Cliff’s Notes version of scriptures that have left out this stuff on humility?!

 

TBC: Sunday, December 27, 2015

Purchase or preview for free The Jesus Clone book here…

Skip to toolbar