"But Jesus called for them, saying, 'Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.'" Luke 18:16-17
By this time, Jesus had become quite famous. Everywhere he went he attracted both detractors and the hopeful. In this case, worried and distraught parents were bringing their children to him to be blessed and healed. Unfortunately, it was Jesus' own disciples that took on the role of security guards (rather than facilitators) when they began to rebuke the parents for presumably wasting the Savior's time. Jesus used this opportunity as an object lesson for all.
Children are so wide eyed as they experience the world. There's is a faith that is so fundamental that they are not even aware of alternative explanations or perspectives. Their entire point of view is a combination of their own experience and what they have been told by loving parents. Based on these two things, they just accept. Watch small children as they interact with others like themselves on the playground or in the play room and you will see love and sharing. It is also at this stage of life when they are the most obedient and have not yet learned to talk back or premeditatedly misbehave. And finally, they are completely dependent upon their parents for everything from the basics of food, water, clothing and shelter to education, health care, affection and love. It is all a little one needs.
Beloved, when Jesus mentions receiving the kingdom of God like a child, he is talking about nothing less than these things. As adults and followers of Christ, we must shed our rebellion and faithlessness and understand that he provides for every one of our needs. We must love the Lord with the nearly blind faith and absoluteness of a child. All other alternatives must seem otherworldly. To do less than this endangers our ability to gain the heaven we all seek. If there is any area in which a grown, hard working, responsible adult should be childish, this is most certainly it.
Rejoicing in the Lord,