People were also bringing babies to Jesus for him to place his hands on them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
This is another story with which we are all quite familiar. The disciples sought to keep the children away from Jesus as He taught the people; children can be such a distraction and Jesus was doing important work. Jesus saw things differently, explaining that we must receive the Kingdom like little children.
What is it that little children bring to the party? They have no money or resources, they have no social position or influence in the community. They have no accomplishments or knowledge to speak of; nobody respects them. In fact, little children are messy, loud, and uncouth and they consume resources without contributing much of anything in return other than the occasional “cute” moment.
Little children are innocent, they must be dependent on their parents for everything; they have no guile. Of course this is precisely the point Jesus is making. To enter the Kingdom of God, we must be like little children, entirely dependent upon God for our provision and our acceptance, for we bring nothing to the party other than ourselves in complete humility. Again, Jesus is making quite a contrast between God’s ways and the ways of men, for this kind of thinking is quite the opposite of our earthly way of looking at things.