“Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.'” Matthew 19:14 (NIV).
This verse can be confusing. What does it mean?
Does it mean the kingdom of heaven just belongs to little kids and not to teenagers, adults, or the elderly? Actually, it doesn’t mean that at all. Notice at the end, it says, “belongs to such as these.” It doesn’t say, “belongs to these.” What it’s saying is the kingdom of heaven belongs to those who are like little children. However, when you look around you today, little kids don’t seem like the best role models. We see them whining, complaining, crying, etc. Does the kingdom of heaven really belong to them?
Well, there are kids like that, there’s no doubt about it. But think of it this way. Most of us have role models, most of which are adults. But just because our role models are adults, doesn’t mean that the first grown up we see is our role model. That would be disastrous! No, what we do is when we see someone who sets a good example, that’s who we choose as our role model! So, Jesus isn’t saying, “Be like any little child you see.” Good children are those who are obedient, respectful, loving, trusting…you get the point. Jesus is saying to be like that.
Be like a little child, for “the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”