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"He 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. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child — is the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven." Matthew 18:2-4
The child preached the sermon! He said to those ambitious disciples, "Shame on all you quarreling about prominence and high places. Look at me. I am much higher up in the kingdom of Heaven than you. You must get clear of all your proud thoughts — and become humble and simple-minded and childlike — or you will have no place at all in the kingdom of Heaven, much less a high place!"
Little children are all preaching sermons to us, if only we have ears to hear. Children, in their innocence, their simplicity, their naturalness, their sweetness of soul — wherever they go, exert an influence upon other lives which no words can describe. They are at once the greatest preachers — and themselves the most eloquent sermons.
"He took a little child and had him stand among them. Taking him in His arms," Mark 9:36
This picture of Jesus with the little one in His arms is very beautiful. In all the Bible there is scarcely another which so well represents the attitude both of the soul and of the Savior — in salvation, and in all Christian life.
Jesus takes the child in His arms — there is love, tenderness, protection.
The bosom is the place of warmth, of affection, of intimacy, of confidence.
The encircling arms imply safety, support, shelter.
Jesus lifted up the child and held it in His arms — just so does He carry His people through this wilderness world! He does not merely tell them how to live — but He takes them on His shoulders, carrying not their burdens only — but themselves! Thus He bears them on through life and through death — to Heaven, where they shall forever be with Him!
Then look at the picture the other way — the child in the Savior's arms. The child's attitude speaks of trust, confidence, repose, peace, love, joy — just the feelings which belong to the true Christian. What a place the bosom of Christ is — in danger, in storm, in sorrow, in death! Shall we not likewise learn — to nestle in our Savior's arms in all our troublesome experiences?