Word for the day by Christian Education Forum


Matthew 18: 1- 5
 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18: 2,3)
In Matthew 18, we witness the beginning of the fourth discourse by Jesus. In this chapter he is addressing relationships within the church, the community of the kingdom. The assigned portion particularly addresses
the relationships among disciples. In a status-conscious Mediterranean antiquity the disciples are arguing about ‘who will be greatest in the kingdom.’ For this Jesus answers their query through an object lesson.

Child is the reference point in the kingdom (v.3)

Normally models of heroes were suggested for their wards to imitate in order to be greatest in their life time. But Jesus points them to a child. Harrison observes that ‘children were powerless, without status and utterly dependent on their parents.’ Jesus exhorts disciples to imitate such people of no status and dependence. It makes the disciples vulnerable in a society that considers powerlessness as mark of defeat and subordination. Jesus’ declaration is a challenge to accept limitation, weakness, and smallness.

Embrace child, embrace Christ (v.5)

True disciple is ‘little ones who believe in’ Jesus. It is an earnest desire to make Christ great alone. During the time of Jesus, though parents loved children, they held little status. They don’t get any social respect. Children were avoided in decision making and considered as immature to make rational choices. The situation still prevails in church and society. As a matter of fact, infant baptism is considered as totally irrational and absurd. Here Jesus insists us to notice and welcome the ‘nobodies’ in our society.

Our responsibility is to learn from a child. Let us make ourselves vulnerable by imitating them. Let us welcome them to our life. It is our challenge and task to follow Jesus meaningfully thereby leading children to Jesus.

Prayer: Gracious Lord, turn our hearts and minds to become a true follower of Christ. Amen

Rev. Ninu Chandy, General Secretary, Mar Thoma Sunday School Samajam

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