A dispute arose among them about which of them was the greatest. Jesus knew this quarrel was going on in their hearts, so He took a child and stood it among them. “If you receive this child in my name,” He said, “you receive Me. And anyone who receives Me, receives the One who sent Me. Whoever is the least among you-that’s the one who is great.”
So here, Jesus turns the normal thinking upside-down to show the Kingdom thinking thru an illustrative object lesson.
Status was a preeminent concern in ancient society.
Children in this first century culture had no status. But Jesus shows that in the Kingdom of God they have the same status as Himself. Those with zero status in the world have the highest value in God’s Kingdom. Heiarchy disappears in God’s world. You see, under Jewish law, a sender could authorize messengers to act with his full legal authority to the extent of the commission given them. Jesus declares that in God’s sight children are like messengers in Jewish custom, who bore the full authorization of the one they represented, so they did not need worldly status. Representatives of someone who had great authority exercised more authority than others who acted on their own.
What greater honor can anyone ask for than to be received as a messenger of God and Christ? This is what Jesus ascribes to this child. And this lesson came after Jesus was transfigured and God said to listen to Him. Now Jesus, God’s representative, says to listen to this child.
May we be inspired to listen only to God. To listen only to the person who listens to God.
May we be inspired to smash our pedestals so that we have none upon which to place anyone thereupon. For no one can live up to the greatness we ascribe to them when we elevate them so. For the greatest in the Kingdom, you might say, is just the one with more of God flowing thru them. So tho you may admire them, you are really just admiring God. Therefore, may it always point us to the Source.
How you listen to and treat children says a lot about you.
Listening to children, I believe, is listening to God. He has so much to tell us thru children. We miss much of it. Sad loss this is. Let’s start listening today.
Train up children the way they should go, and when they are old they will not depart from it.
This is a much used and abused verse of Scripture.
First of all this is a proverb not a promise. This is a general truth allowing for countless variables.
“Train up” here refers to dedication. Dedication to God and His ways. And also, “the way they should go” is very important here as it could likely refer to raising children with regard to their individual uniqueness. Train up the way each one should go by fully knowing your child and embracing the unique temperament and personality and talents and gifts he or she possesses. This can be more smoothly accomplished thru dedicating them to God and seeking what He has created them to be, not what you want them to be.
Do this while they’re young; do this consistently, and they will not forget it. It will be goodness ingrained. Tho they may stray, even for a while, the truth you instilled will be in there and will be remembered. You hear of very few children straying forever from two good parents who have loved them well in this manner.
And remember, a good example is worth a thousand sermons. What you do has more impact on your child than all the lectures you could ever give.
As has been said, truth is caught more than taught.