I have been pondering over this verse for a few days now. As someone pastorally involved with children, it's obviously a verse that drives me. But I have been applying some of the theological questioning that I am being taught to some of the values and visions that I have in my work; which I share with my teams:
Jesus called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
Here are some of the questions I am revisiting:
Why are we told that Jesus called a little child? How little is little in NT times?
He said "unless you change". What attitudes do we need to change?
How can we become like little children? Clearly we can't do it physically; we are all "grow-d up".
And for me, the cruncher - what did Jesus mean when he said "you will never enter the kingdom of heaven"?
I don't happen to believe that verse 3 is just about having a place in heaven when we die.
I could post more about my thoughts here but I would really like to reflect on others' opinions. However, I will say that academic studies on children's spirituality have enlightened me; particularly on the capacity of children to use their senses to have awe and wonder and "see" the kingdom (.....coming?) in a way that we can't; where we place logic and reason and "ahhhhh, buts" and fear and discomfort.
Enough Lynn! What are your views on my questions?