On two occasions, Jesus used little children to deliver some of the clearest truths about the kind of heart we must have to enter heaven. These occasions are found in Matthew 18 and Matthew 19 and also in other gospel accounts. Look at what He so vividly taught us about what God wants us to become.
Jesus loves the little children of the world. We may have sung these words, but Jesus lived them. As He was busy teaching adults, some brought their children to Jesus. The apostles rebuked those who were doing this. Jesus stopped what He was doing and spent time with these little ones saying, “Do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven” (Mark 10:15).
Jesus showed His love by His actions. The gospels say that He touched them. He picked them up and sat them in the midst of the disciples so all could see them. He took them up in His arms. He laid His hands on them. He blessed them. Imagine how years later a grandfather could tell his grandchildren about the time Jesus used his five small loaves and two small fish to feed thousands. Imagine anyone telling others, “When I was a child I sat in Jesus’ lap.”
Children are not born with inherited sin or a sinful nature. All children at birth are just as innocent as Jesus was when He was born. Baby Jesus was not a sinner, nor did he have a sinful nature. He was in every way the same as we are (Heb. 2:17). Sinful men must be converted and become like an innocent child. Children are not evil, nor do they have an evil nature.
Children are an example of the kind of hearts we must have. They are an example of humility. Read the gospel accounts carefully, and you will see just how often the apostles argued over who would be the greatest in the kingdom. How did Jesus visibly show how sinful this attitude is? He used a child and said we must become like that child to enter heaven.
Children have angels who behold the Father. Jesus said that to receive a little child was to receive Him and then described God’s anger over those who destroy that child’s innocent faith. “It would be better for him that a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depths of the sea” (Matt. 18:6). He taught them that children have angels who see what adults are doing to children and said that these angels also are in the presence of God. They will report to God what you have done! These same angels can report how you taught them.
Take time to look at children and to become like them. The doors of heaven will be closed to you if you do not.