Whoever Welcomes a Little Child Welcomes Me

by John Kennedy on March 16, 2023

And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.
                                                                                                                   —Matthew 18:5

Whom do you welcome? To whom do you open the door of your home? With whom do you engage in conversation? What does Jesus mean when He says that welcoming a little child in His name is the same as welcoming Him?

I’m confident that any one of us would go to great lengths to welcome Jesus. In our thoughts we claim “I would do anything Jesus asked me to do!” But do we pay attention to the “little things” Jesus has already asked?

What is Jesus asking us to do in this passage? Is there someone that you need to welcome?

When I think of welcoming a little child, I imagine getting down on one knee to look eye to eye with a person of small stature. This is not condescension but the opposite, a willingness to humble myself to greet the other party on their level. It is assuming an attitude that says, “You are important to me. I value you. I am interested in what you have to say.”

To welcome a little child in Jesus’ name is to welcome a child as Jesus would. It is to spend time, to listen, and to point them to Jesus. This act occurs repeatedly every week at Wheaton Bible Church in our Children’s Ministry. Those greeting and serving little children are greeting and serving Jesus. In fact, all of us have the opportunity to greet and serve Jesus. It may be a little child, a son, a daughter, a grandchild, a parent, a brother, a sister, a co-worker, a neighbor, etc.

Are we, like the disciples, straining to be seen as “greater?” Or are we willing to spend the time to make ourselves small—and listen to and point to Jesus?

Questions for reflection and discussion: How can we convey to someone else that we are interested in what they have to say? How can pointing someone to Jesus begin with hearing their story? With whom do you need to spend time and listen to and point to Jesus?

Church Bible Reading Plan: Exodus 27; John 6

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