Expressing Childlike Faith

KEY VERSE: “Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.” —Luke 18:17


JESUS WAS GREAT because of his humility and kindness and love. He did not need to be ‘built up’ in the minds of the people by form and ceremony. True greatness is displayed, not in the exercise of power and authority, but in the service that can be rendered, no matter how trivial or menial that service may seem. At times, the physical strain of Jesus’ ministry was so great that he found it necessary to retire for rest, but he never held himself aloof from the people—not even little children when they sought him out—in order to enhance an appearance of dignity and greatness.

The childlike qualities of humility, trustfulness, and sincerity are absolutely essential if we are to be worthy of reigning with Christ. In these things we must become “as little children” if we are to enter into the glory of the kingdom. (Matt. 18:3) When using this illustration Jesus did not mean that those who share his kingdom reign will be those who die in infancy. Only the mature of mind can properly be followers of the Master, but such must be childlike in their faith. They must be humble and pure. They must be like Jesus if they are to be joint-heirs with him in his kingdom.

Humility before God and man is essential for all who would be given authority in his kingdom. To teach this lesson to his disciples, Jesus called a little child into their midst, and said, “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”—Matt. 18:2-4

In an admonition to the elders, and to the church as a whole, the Apostle Peter wrote, “Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, … being ensamples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. … Be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.”—I Pet. 5:2-6

The Apostle Paul wrote, “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory, but in lowliness of mind … let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, yet did not snatch at equality with God [The New English Bible]; but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”—Phil. 2:3-11

Thus we find that Jesus, Peter, and Paul all enlarge upon the thought expressed in the text that says, “Before honor is humility.” (Prov. 15:33) Jesus seems to state the matter as a working principle with God: “For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”—Luke 14:8-11

It is essential to be humble before God. We are reminded of this by Paul’s reference to the fact that although Jesus in his prehuman life was in the form of God he did not aspire to be equal with God. This is in contrast with the attitude of Lucifer, who said in his heart, “I will be like the Most High.” (Isa. 14:12-14) In keeping with the divine principles by which God governs his vast universe, the time will come when Lucifer, who sought to exalt himself, shall be forever abased in the minds of all God’s intelligent creatures, and ultimately destroyed. On the other hand, Paul reminds us that the Logos, who always took the course of humility, has already been exalted to the divine nature, and to the right hand of God’s throne.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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