16 OCTOBER (PREACHED 20 OCTOBER 1878)

Receiving the kingdom of God as a little child

‘Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.’ Luke 18:17
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: 1 Corinthians 3:18–4:17

To put the thought of the apostles into one or two words, they thought that the children must not come to Christ because they were not like themselves; they were not men and women. A child not big enough, tall enough, grown enough, great enough to be blessed by Jesus! So they half thought. The child must not come to the Master because he is not like the man.

How the blessed Saviour turns the tables and says, ‘Do not say the child may not come till he is like a man, but know that you cannot come till you are like the child. It is no difficulty in the child’s way that he is not like you; the difficulty is with you, that you are not like the child.’ Instead of the child needing to wait until he grows up and becomes a man, it is the man who must grow down and become like a child. ‘Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.’

Our Lord’s words are a complete and all-sufficient answer to the thought of his disciples, and as we read them we may each one learn wisdom. Let us not say, ‘Would to God my child were grown up like myself that he might come to Christ’, but rather may we almost wish that we were little children again, could forget much that we now know, could be washed clean from habit and prejudice, and could begin again with a child’s freshness, simplicity and eagerness. As we pray for spiritual childhood, Scripture sets its seal upon the prayer, for it is written, ‘Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God’ and again, ‘Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.’

FOR MEDITATION: Paul rejoiced in being able to call the Corinthians beloved children (1 Corinthians 4:14; 2 Corinthians 6:13). But though he was glad about their childlike reception of the gospel (1 Corinthians 4:15), he was none too pleased with their childish behaviour (1 Corinthians 3:1–3). We must receive the gospel like boys and girls, but afterwards we are also supposed to mature into Christian men and women (1 Corinthians 13:11; 14:20; 16:13).


C. H. Spurgeon and Terence Peter Crosby, 365 Days with Spurgeon (Volume 4), (Leominster, UK: Day One Publications, 2007), 300.
16 OCTOBER (PREACHED 20 OCTOBER 1878) Receiving the kingdom of God as a little child ‘Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.’ Luke 18:17 SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: 1 Corinthians 3:18–4:17 To put the thought of the apostles into one or two words, they thought that the children must not come to Christ because they were not like themselves; they were not men and women. A child not big enough, tall enough, grown enough, great enough to be blessed by Jesus! So they half thought. The child must not come to the Master because he is not like the man. How the blessed Saviour turns the tables and says, ‘Do not say the child may not come till he is like a man, but know that you cannot come till you are like the child. It is no difficulty in the child’s way that he is not like you; the difficulty is with you, that you are not like the child.’ Instead of the child needing to wait until he grows up and becomes a man, it is the man who must grow down and become like a child. ‘Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.’ Our Lord’s words are a complete and all-sufficient answer to the thought of his disciples, and as we read them we may each one learn wisdom. Let us not say, ‘Would to God my child were grown up like myself that he might come to Christ’, but rather may we almost wish that we were little children again, could forget much that we now know, could be washed clean from habit and prejudice, and could begin again with a child’s freshness, simplicity and eagerness. As we pray for spiritual childhood, Scripture sets its seal upon the prayer, for it is written, ‘Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God’ and again, ‘Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.’ FOR MEDITATION: Paul rejoiced in being able to call the Corinthians beloved children (1 Corinthians 4:14; 2 Corinthians 6:13). But though he was glad about their childlike reception of the gospel (1 Corinthians 4:15), he was none too pleased with their childish behaviour (1 Corinthians 3:1–3). We must receive the gospel like boys and girls, but afterwards we are also supposed to mature into Christian men and women (1 Corinthians 13:11; 14:20; 16:13). C. H. Spurgeon and Terence Peter Crosby, 365 Days with Spurgeon (Volume 4), (Leominster, UK: Day One Publications, 2007), 300.
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