Summary: Little Children's Basileia
Little Children’s Basileia
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Matthew 18: 1-4 “At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.
What are the characteristics of the little children that Jesus had in mind?
1. Quick to Forgive: Children fight easily and accuse each other easily but they don’t hold a grudge. They could be fighting one minute and embracing each other the next minute. Colossians 3: 13 “Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you”. Is forgiveness a conscious choice, or an emotional state? I believe forgiveness is a choice we make through a decision of our will, motivated by obedience to God and his command to forgive.
2. Teachable and Humble: Children sometimes ask the dumbest questions. Sometimes we can give them some of the dumbest answers and they will believe us. Prov. 15:32 He who ignores discipline despises himself, but whoever heeds correction gains understanding.
Characteristics of an Unteachable spirit:
• Never feel secure about their identity, and are constantly comparing themselves to others
• When someone corrects them they get defensive
• Won’t take advice from people not like themselves
• Constantly try to prove something
• Tend to lie to make themselves look good in front of others
• Ashamed to let others know who they really are
• When they are corrected, they typically feel rejected
Teachable (Apollos in Acts 18)
• They can be corrected, without feeling rejected
• They are teachable
• They listen to constructive criticism
3. Obeys the Father - Jesus honors the authority of His Father through complete obedience. A very clear but seldom pondered truth of the New Testament is that Christ’s entire life and ministry were orchestrated by His Father and that Jesus was careful to carry out every detail according to the will of His Father. “Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come . . . to do thy will, O God’” (Hebrews 10:7). Even His coming to earth was an act of obedience to His Father. His life and ministry focused on the will of the Father. “That the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, even so I do” (John 14:31). All that Jesus did and said was exactly what His Father wanted Him to do and say. “For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me commandment, what to say, and what to speak” (John 12:49). All that Christ did in His life on earth was done according to the Scriptures. What God had spoken in the Old Testament was so authoritative Christ obeyed it completely. “Now this took place that what was spoken through the prophet might be fulfilled” (Matthew 21:4). Ten or so times in the book of Matthew we see that Jesus lived exactly as the Scriptures predicted in order that the Scriptures would be fulfilled. For Christ Himself, the second person of the trinity, to live out in minute detail what God had said speaks volumes about the authority that Scripture is to have in our lives.
4. Are Not Status Conscious – Nehemiah
5. Able to Rebound and Move Forward – David
6. Love and Love Being Loved – Eros, Phileo, Storgay, and Agape
7. Engage their Environment Emotionally (care about other's hearts) – Nehemiah 1
8. Believe Easily - “Then he believed in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness” (Gen. 15:6). Nothing was said out loud! No words were spoken. Abram made an invisible, personal choice. He believed! This belief was a decision on Abraham’s part, and his belief resulted in God declaring him to be righteous. Abram’s faith was mental. It was silent, invisible, yet real
9. Transparent - Christianity without transparency is just another religious exercise leading only as far as the person in charge can take you while Christianity with transparency will lead as far as God can take you - and there is a vast difference! Peter to Jesus
10. Vulnerable - A life with Christ brings with it a profound personal freedom. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.” He also said, “And the truth will set you free.” Free from what? Some of us in this world are fortunate to already be free from oppression, free from hunger, free from disease and poverty and abuse. But many of us are not free from ourselves, from those parts of our beings that weigh us down and make us weak. Christ can, and wants to, free us from ourselves, from our debilitating flaws.