Mat 18:1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and said, "Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" Mat 18:2 And He called a child to Himself and set him before them,
This relates to Matthew 17: 24-27, the disciples were jockeying for position in the new kingdom that they thought would be here on earth. They also felt that it would be soon and because Peter, James and John were at the transfiguration they were worried about their positions in the new kingdom. See Acts 1:6 and Mark 9:33-34.
We as adults often worry about our position in life we try to improve it, in your job or in your social standing. It is not uncommon to see jealousy around such subjects; when you are young it is only natural in our society to try to compete. It would be much harder to be humble.
Mat 18:3 and said, "Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.What is it about children? The disciples were trying to get advanced placement in God’s kingdom. They were acting like children by talking about petty things, but they were adults.
Mat 18:4 "Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.Children will talk about petty things but they accept things as they are. When you were young and had a normal family, most likely you were happy with your toys etc., when I was a boy I didn’t have a lot of toys but I used what I had and really didn’t think to much about what others had. When older that probably was not true but when you were 5 or 6 you just went out and had fun with your friends. That is what Jesus wants us to do. Accept his word and put it to use and not worry about the trappings of today’s world.
Mat 18:5 "And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me;
This verse was difficult for me to explain so again I will borrow from the Life Application New Testament:
Jesus was also teaching the disciples to welcome children. This was a new approach in a society where children were usually treated as second-class citizens. Jesus equated the attitude of welcoming children with a willingness to receive him. An attitude that welcomes a little child like this readily welcomes and embraces believers of little worldly importance and low status. This shows an attitude that also welcomes the Savior, for he too was of little worldly importance and of low status. In God’s Kingdom, greatness lies in acceptance of and dependence upon the Savior. Together in the church, believers are to welcome and love one another, encourage one another, allow everyone a place to shine according to their gifts, and appreciate one another.Mat 18:6 but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea
Think of the people or groups that are disallowing children to not come to Jesus. What are the Taliban doing to their children? Teaching how to use guns and become suicide bombers and they will be rewarded with virgins in the afterlife. Wow that is so sick.
Think about the heaven God is offering. No pain, no worry, no steeling, a life without worry and you have contentment. Which would you rather have?