“Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enetr the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt 18:3)
In this passage and the forthcoming references to becoming children which follow, Jesus is calling us to accept and operate from the position or status of a child in society. If we read on to v.4 we would read that a child’s status in society is that which is marked by humility. Now this is not humility that counts oneself less than others. Instead, it is a humility that acknowledges its position in society; a position of dependency and of subordination to authority. So Jesus uses a child, who is completely and in all ways subject to the authority of his parents, to illustrate our need to turn from a particular frame of thinking about ourselves and to turn to the acceptance of Kingdom of God authority. Its a desperate and crucial need. For if this need is spurned or is accepted with a half-assed attitude, then access into the presence of God is impossible (never, Jesus says).
Children who cannot accept authority are mutinous, accepting no authority whatsoever. Children who accept authority one day but not the next; one moment but not the next are two-faced. Now it is one thing to not carry out one’s position in an appropriate manner all the time. We are all weak and would hope that this weakness would be the cause for mercy and sympathy. But it is something altogether different when one will not accept and carry out one’s place (let’s say in the workplace or family) with an attitude of insubordination.
Hear Jesus say “turn.”
Hear Jesus say “become.”
Notice the action required. Its not a mental feat alone.
Hear Jesus say, “Never.”
Jesus said to him,
“I am the way
and the truth
and the life,
no one come to the Father
except through me.”
Tally up your actions at the end of the day. Let this actuality be that which defines your position in the Kingdom of God. Your acceptance. Your reluctance.
Delinquent, disorderly, and defiant.
Unmanageable, uncontrollable, undisciplined.
Subordination is the key to your kingdom.
God all my pride and sinfulness is due to my belief that I am more than what is true.
I am the First Adam.
Lord I am sorry that I want to be more than Your Kingdom allows.
Lord I am sorry that I do not delightfully accept Your Authority. (nasty sinner, ah!)
I’m sorry…..Father. I’m sorry that I’m not truly sorry.
So here in my understanding…(so lacking)
So here in my weakness…(so despised)
So here in my hope…(so wavering)
God I beat my chest asking…simply asking…discipline me.
Teach me and give me grace to live first in subordination.