I love getting to spend time with my little nieces and nephews. Yesterday, in my 30 minute car ride with my cousin’s 6 year old daughter, she and I started talking about Jesus and the gospel. The conversation was simple, but there was so much beauty in hearing this 6 year old child, talk about who Jesus was to her and what He meant in her life. Here’s a brief dialogue of our conversation:
Me: What’s your favorite thing about Jesus?
Chloe: Well He loves us
Me: What else?
Chloe: And He died for us
Chloe: ..and He really was hurt a lot just for us. Like He was hurt, really bad for you and me.
I had to stop for a few minutes and really take in what she said. The simplicity in her understanding of Christ’s pain for us was fascinating. As she was talking, I could just hear the tone in her voice change, she moved forward in her seat, and was really trying to make a point to me: Jesus was hurt really bad for you and me! We went on to talk about what we can and should do with the Good News that has been given to us, and the importance of sharing the gospel to those who don’t know Jesus. Her willingness to hear what I had to say and her desire to ask questions (and to add her own opinions) got me really thinking about Jesus’ reference to little children in Scripture.
And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” – Matthew 18: 2-4
Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 19: 13-14
Chloe was excited about her faith, and not only was she excited, but she was eager to learn more! She wanted to know more about Jesus and was actively coming up with ideas on how to please Him. I personally feel that this is what Jesus was trying to get across in the verses above – He wanted the disciples to turn from their selfish ways, and become childlike. Jesus needs His followers to be humble and to recognize that being “the greatest” is not what is important; rather, it is about our attitude and willingness to serve – this is what He desires. Matthew Henry puts it like this,
“You must be converted, you must be of another mind, and in another frame and temper, must have other thoughts, both of yourselves and of the kingdom of heaven, before you be fit for a place in it. The pride, ambition, and affectation of honor and dominion, which appear in you, must be repented of, mortified, and reformed, and you must come to yourselves.”
Essentially, we must be like children: humble and teachable.
God so desperately wants to use you and me to advance His Kingdom. We are created for a purpose, and that purpose can be fulfilled, once we recognize that the power of His Holy Spirit dwells inside of you and me. It is with His power that we are able to go into the world and be true disciples of the Word of God. We must put aside our selfish ambitions and desires, and recognize that everything we do should be to bring Him glory and praise. When we turn our ways, and humbly come to Jesus, as children do – yearning to learn from Him and desiring to please Him – then He will be able to use us solely for His good. We only get once chance to live this life. How will you live it?
Towards the end of my conversation with Chloe she beautifully summed up what our true calling is as believers, “We have to spread Jesus to the whole world.”