Radical Jesus – a saying about children that changed everything

Who would have been offended by Jesus words about children?

Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 18:3

They seem so mild to us. Of course, we think. But they were hard words for some to hear. It would challenge their very ideas about life, society, learning and faith.

  • If like some you had learned the 630 laws and studied the commentaries and listened to the oral tradition, what would you think of this call to a relational faith?
  • If you believed that the child could not keep the law and like his mother only needed to pray once a day, what would you make of these 20 words that upended your understanding of the order of things?
  • If you came from a nation that revered animals and buried children as sacrifices in the corner of buildings to ward of evil spirits, what would you make of these words?
  • If you lived in the seat of power in Rome, where there were 6 different social classes of men, what would you think of this faith that gave status to the faith of a mere child?
  • If you were a freedom fighter, at war with Rome what value would you put in a faith that proclaimed peace and championed the child?

Are we ready to hear again the words of the prophet Jesus as he affirms again the status of the child in the eyes of God, as he does so often in the Gospels?

Are we ready for Jesus radical message about children?