When Jesus said to His followers, “To enter the Kingdom of Heaven, you must come as little children,” I just assumed He meant because children were innocent. Then, reﬂecting back on my time as a child and times I have watched my own children or others playing, I could only conclude that “their innocence” was not the virtue to which Jesus was speaking.
Children were loved in the ﬁrst century. Yet, unlike children today, the world did not revolve around them— gifts for every occasion, birthday parties and trips to Disney World. Children were more humble, having fewer expectations than children today.
The Kingdom will be a gift to people who know they are not worthy of such a gift —“the poor in spirit” — the people who are not trying to impress others or position themselves where they will look good to the King.
Thus, “Come as little children” means come to Him in humility, expecting nothing, knowing that grace and salvation come as His gift – a treasure we are incapable of obtaining on our own.
A relationship with Christ will always be more about the gift that we receive rather than what we give up.