” . . . unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” -Matthew 18: 3-4
In Chapter 2 of Who is This Man? author John Ortberg comments that, in the ancient world, ordinary children did not share the king’s image- if they grew up at all. Unwanted children simply were left to die, a practice called “exposure”. The head of the household had the legal right to decide the life or death of other family members, a decision usually made in the first 8 days or so of life. Until that time, Plutarch once wrote, a child was “more like a plant than a human being.”
Jesus completely transformed that way of thinking. As Pastor Ortberg notes, “greatness comes to people who die to appearing great.” Jesus saw “in the least of these” what King Herod could not see. And when we feel devalued by our ministry downsizing or vocation loss, we can take comfort in the truth that our lasting identity is as a child of the King. David Bentley Hart comments in Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and It’s Fashionable Enemies:
“We see the glory of God in a crucified slave, and [consequently] . . . we see the forsaken of the earth as the very children of heaven.”
Today’s question: How does your lasting identity as a child of the King help you focus on revisioning and revitalizing your calling? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “A human being’s worth”