There is an obvious and striking reference to children by Jesus on several occasions. Children were basically a cultural non-entity during the time of Jesus. But Jesus used children to help us see ourselves and to see how the kingdom comes to us.
There are simple reasons for this; so simple, they are easily missed. “I tell you solemnly, unless you change and become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. And so, the one who makes himself as little as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” The first instruction is for change, ‘unless you change and become like little children.’ There is no entrance into kingdom thought and understanding while maintaining an old and existing idea about it. It is new! It is different. It will eventually be perceived as ‘right side up’ although at first it appears as upside down. We must change to see these things. An example is in the second part of this text, ‘the one who makes himself as little as this little child’ is exactly the opposite of any, and perhaps every, teaching and instruction most of us have ever received. We are taught to be big in our own perception of ourselves, not little. Little is even viewed as ‘a poor self-image’ and ‘low self-esteem.’ Big is viewed as confidence and independence.
The Kingdom is for Little Ones.
“I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” Jesus