I know that “Jesus loves the little children” and He used them as an example of the trusting faith that we must have in Him in order to enter the kingdom of God…. and I think about Jacob and his situation. He HAS to have faith in us. He HAS to trust us. His very survival relies upon it. He HAS to trust that we’re going to feed him, and change him, and bathe him and clothe him and keep him warm, and the list goes on…his faith and trust in his parents is what keeps him alive at this point. Is our faith that vital in our own lives? Do we daily depend on God for our every need, or do we try and take care of everything ourselves and fit God in when we can? That wouldn’t work for Jacob… if we just fit him in where we could he would not survive.
Matthew 18:1-6 “At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, ‘Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’ 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. And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.’”
Jacob is a great example of humility. He can’t boast of anything. Anything and everything that he is, has done, or will ever do is by the sheer grace of God. That’s obvious to us. He can’t even feed himself… he needs his parents to push food down a tube into his stomach for him! But what may not be as obvious to some of us is that the same is true for me, you, the homeless man down the street, Bill Gates, the president of the United States and every one in between. We must humble ourselves and acknowledge that God is sovereign in our lives and He has given and He takes away and regardless of our individual situation He is to be praised for what He has done! Jesus then equates Himself to how we treat children. He does so also in the following passage:
Matthew 25:34-43 "Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.' Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.' They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?' He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.' Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."
Jesus reminds us that whatever we do for the “least of these” we did for Him. I have to admit that at 4:30 AM when I want to sleep and Jacob wants to be wide awake it’s hard for me to remember that this is my meeting with Jesus. It’s hard for me to remember and enjoy my meeting with Jesus sometimes when Jacob has peed, pooped, and puked all over himself, his clothes, his blankets and the couch! But did He not say, “I was sick and you looked after me?” Whatever you did for the least of these… you did for Me. What an honor it really is to hold this precious image of God in my arms and to love him, knowing all the while, that my love towards him is being accounted to Jesus on my behalf as well. What we do here on this earth to the “least of these” will have eternal consequences. What have you done today for the “least of these?”