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And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 18.3

Jesus made the decision to become child-like a pre-requisite for entry not only into his discipleship but into heaven itself. To remove all doubt he invited a child to stand next to him and before the disciples as he said it. And finally he added: "Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven."

This is consistent with Jesus' other teachings about the need for humility, both in approaching God and in dealing with other people. Indeed, one may include our behaviour towards all of creation - if we are to follow Jesus who, despite his potential as King and Creator, chose to tread lightly and live modestly.

But what of other things Jesus' taught and demonstrated? That we should be "wise as serpents" and intolerant of corruption? The answer is that to be child-like is not to be naive or child-ish. To be child-like is to protect our innocence from world weariness, so that we can still behold the wonders of creation, revel in the richness of relationships and enjoy God as Father.



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