“…for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”
Our Lord tells us that the way of entering the kingdom is by receiving. We do not enter into the kingdom of God by working out some deep problem and arriving at its solution; not by bringing something out of ourselves but by receiving a secret something into us. We come into the kingdom by the kingdom coming into us. If entrance into the kingdom depended upon something for the human mind to find by study and deep thought, then very few children could ever enter it; but it depends upon something to be received, and so children may enter.
As these children receive the kingdom of heaven, we must receive it. A child receives the gospel with humility and simple faith. Children are not held up to us as an example in all things, for they have faults that we should avoid, but they are here praised in the way they receive the kingdom. How does a child receive it? He is humble enough to be without prejudice. Take a little child and tell him about Christ Jesus the Savior, and if God blesses the telling of the story of the cross, and he believes it, he receives it without having any wrong views and notions to battle with.
Many people go to hear the gospel with the idea that Christ is merely human; a person cannot get rid of that prejudice from his mind, and therefore he does not receive Christ. Another comes to hear the word with the recollection of all that he has heard and read of infidelity, heresy, and profanity. How can he gain until this is removed? Another comes with his mind stuffed with proud self-righteousness. If we could get this slog out of the soul, there would be some hope; but all this is a hindrance. Now, the little child, as he listens to the story of the love of God in Christ Jesus, has none of these prejudices to spoil his hearing. Very likely he does not even know that such evils have been invented by man, and he is blessed in his ignorance. He will find out the evil soon enough, but for the present he humbly drinks in the word and prays:
“Gentle Jesus, meek and mild, Look on me, a little child! Pity my simplicity; Suffer me to come to Thee.”
Now, we greatly need this deliverance from preconceived notions. The little child receives Christ humbly, never dreaming of salvation by deeds. I do not recollect ever having met with a child who had to battle with self-righteousness in coming to Christ. Amen