Are you a little child? Jesus 16 times is quoted as saying we should be like little children. Here are some examples,
25 At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.
2 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
Who learns more about the kingdom of God? Who is blocked from learning about or entering the Kingdom of God?
Jesus could have simply referred to children 16 times. He did not. He referred to little children. Why does he specify?
I have teenage children. I have one adult child. They are not little children and Jesus is not referring to them. I would not refer to an 8 year old child as a little child. Little children are like pre-K or toddlers.
What can we see about such children that would cause Jesus to say we should be like them? For example, he told his disciples to be like little children.
Are You a Little Child? What Are They Like?
Little children are highly dependent on their parents. They learn at a fabulous rate, For example, here in China, Western parents know if they put their kindergartener or pre-K child in a Chinese language school that the child will be capable in the language naturally in one semester or at most a year. Children then often serve as translators for their parents who could not acquire language like that at all
Why are little children such good learners without even studying? They know so little, that they are open to so much. Older children know too much and cannot change as easily. They must study.
They are more curious and often carry a sense of wonder. Is that good to have? The Apostle Paul said we should grow up and not just drink milk, but in this use of this metaphor he is not saying we should cease to be hungry for more of God or open to grow. Jesus sees that in the kingdom of God , we are just little children in terms of our understanding, so our attitude should match.