He called a Little Child

by John Kennedy on March 14, 2023

He called a little child and had him stand among them.
                                                                                                                   —Matthew 18:2

The object lessons Jesus used during His public ministry on earth are thought provoking. The disciples were discussing greatness, status, achievement. They were anticipating that Jesus would identify one of their number as the individual who would be greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.

But our Lord does not do that—or at least, not in the way they expected. Imagine their surprise when Jesus called this young child to come and stand among these grown men. This little lad, who had no standing in the eyes of the disciples, was singled out as their example.

This diminutive boy would have been at the bottom of the social order of their culture. Childhood mortality being what it was in the first century, many who reached his tender age never made it to adulthood. His society placed valued on men, not women and children. Yet Jesus never seemed to do the expected. His agenda was continually incomprehensible, even to those closest to Him.

But if one seriously ponders the identity of this sovereign Messiah walking the hills of Galilee, how could we, in our frail humanness, even begin to understand His ways? The disciples had far less information at this point than we have with the whole New Testament at our fingertips. Even so, as we read the Gospels, our minds are still often puzzled by what Jesus said and did.

Questions for reflection and discussion: If Jesus was so unpredictable while on earth, why do we have such set expectations about what we think He should be doing today? How can we give Jesus the freedom to do what He alone desires in our lives and communities, whatever that may be? When has God taken something seemingly mundane and revealed His greatness to you?

Church Bible Reading Plan: Exodus 25; John 4

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