Summary of passage: The disciples asked Jesus who is the greatest in heaven and Jesus said a little child and told them to become like little children in order to enter the kingdom of heaven; to humble yourself and welcome the child in his name.
3a) Change to become like a little child–humility
b) Matthew 5:3-4: Blessed are the poor in spirit and those who mourn
John 1:12-13: Those who receive Jesus as their Savior and believe in him will become children of God and be born of God
John 3:3-6: One must be born again to see the kingdom of God; born of water and the Spirit.
4a) “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last and the servant of all.”
b) Part Personal Question. My answer: Children, those unable to defend themselves such as the disabled and us. We are the least. Be humble. Welcome all. Be generous and kind. Follow the Golden Rule.
c) God and Jesus.
Conclusions: Not for sure how much I got out of this besides to be humble and if I have Jesus, I am changed.
End Notes: Note Jesus didn’t just pompously say “Me!” Instead, he called forth a child, a symbol of his nature.
Scholars say this also speaks to Peter who is declared by the Catholic Church to be the first Pope. If Peter was to be revered as Popes are, then Jesus would have said so here. Personally, I just don’t know that much about the Catholic faith to comment on this either way. This was just mentioned in several commentaries I read on this passage so thought I’d throw it in.
Children in ancient times were seen more as property than as people. They could be bought and sold at will. They belonged to the parents until they were married. This was probably shocking to the discipled to hear.
Jesus changes man’s nature of pride and selfishness into a nature of humility and selflessness–into little children.