Many years ago when I was pastoring for the first time on the island of Lanai in the Hawaiian Islands, I had a startling revelation. Even though Jesus said the he came to give us life and that more abundantly in John 10:10, I was very aware that I was not truly experiencing this life nor did I know many so called Christians who were either. Most Christians were miserable and to this day, when I ask believers about the quality of their life in God, very few walk with a deep peace and joy on a daily basis no matter what is happening around them or to them. So was Jesus lying? Is this life for heaven when we die? I know we experience times in worship or under the anointing along with other moments in our life when we sense the nearness of God and enjoy His presence but is there more to this? And not just for us personally but for others also? In Luke 12:32, we read another amazing statement from Jesus;
“Fear not little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give unto you the kingdom”
It makes God happy, it is His delight to give us the kingdom? Just give it? The kingdom of God is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, Romans 14:17 says. When does He give us the kingdom? Well, Colossians 1:13 says “he has delivered us from the power of darkness and translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son”.
Literally, took us from one place and carried us into another place and the Greek means for Himself. We were on earth under the power of darkness and were rescued and carried into another kingdom, the kingdom of the dear Son who of course is Jesus. And where is Jesus? Well, he passed into the heavens the Bible says in Hebrews so where He is is where you are carried to. So when does that happen? When you die? Or when you are born from above and see and enter the kingdom of God as it says in John 3:3,5. My point is simply that there is a life purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ and it is made available through the Holy Spirit to all mankind to experience now. It is a gift so it is to be received. It is received when we believe the truth of it. Jesus Christ made it very clear that this kingdom is entered into when it is received in childlike faith and it takes humility to believe. This point was made when Jesus was asked by the disciples who was the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. His answer to who was the greatest asset to the kingdom, which one was of the greatest value to the kingdom or the most indispensible to the kingdom or who was the most prominent in the kingdom was answered indirectly but the revelation contained in his answer is the key to experiencing the life of God so many are yearning for and doing all they can to access it. Lets look at the passage I am referring to….
“At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is
the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child
unto him and sat him in the midst of them. And said, Verily I say unto
you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall
not enter the kingdom of heaven”
So you have to become as a child to enter into, enjoy the privileges of the kingdom of heaven. He did not answer their question about who was the greatest in the kingdom. He rather discussed how to enter into it to begin with. Jesus said one needs to be “converted and become as little children”. That means these adults he was talking to needed to change their mind, turn quite around, turn their back on however they were viewing life, a complete revolution as the word means, like the turning of heavenly bodies. And turn back to what. Becoming as little children. Not becoming a child again or childlike but rather examining the traits of a little child because those were the traits they needed to have to ENTER the kingdom of heaven. That was the way in. Christianity is a lifestyle and the abundant life is available to those that become as little children.
Generally speaking, little children before being wounded and hurt in life, exhibit teachable and willing spirits. They are not self reliant but dependent on others, usually their parents for everything in their lives. They are not anxious and worried about life. They do not wake up wondering if there will be food, clothes and a home. They are therefore trusting and also free from prejudices. They usually forgive quickly when they are offended. They are confiding and affectionate, without guile, transparent. They simply receive from family and friends all that they need when they are little. Life is a gift to them. They do nothing to earn it. That is why Jesus said in Matthew 19:14, “Suffer the little children to come unto me for OF SUCH IS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN”.
What I am about to share makes this illustration even more remarkable and profound. This according to some historians was not just an ordinary little child but rather a specific child, known in that day as the ta child. The word that the KJV translated to mean little was not the original Greek word used. The word that Jesus used was not a Hellenistic Greek word spoken at that time. It was a classical greek word that had been carried over into that day and the reason why it was not translated from ta or little, is because it was a derogatory word. A ta child was a handicapped or mentally afflicted child. The word was used to describe a mongoloid child or one who was mentally handicapped. Is it a wonder why this would never be mentioned as the kind of child Jesus placed in the midst of his disciples!
While this is not the common view of this child, the explanation certainly makes what Jesus was teaching only more profound on how to enter and experience the kingdom of God. The Greek culture dominated Galilee and ta children were usually responsible for washing the feet of visitors and guests who entered a home. This was a looked down upon task, one of the most demeaning and therefore given to ta children. The Pharisees who said all they taught was directly from God, believed that a ta child was rejected by God and cursed by HIm. They had no worth, were of no value and had no feelings. Whatever you did to a ta child was acceptable because ta children could not be offended or insulted. They were despised and regarded with utter contempt and in Galilee the insulting name one could be called was “tasim” or “cursed with ta”.
If indeed this was a ta child, Jesus was saying that to enter into the kingdom of God, one must like this ta child. One must give up all pride, all selfish desires, all worldly loyalties and be willing to be despised in the eyes of the world and the way people who are worldly view life, free from all self exaltation, offended by nothing and dead to ambition and flattery! Mongoloid children are color blind to other humans, can only remember negative words for 45 minutes or less and are known to have a sweetness about them beyond all other children and adults. To enter into the kingdom and stay in the realm of the kingdom is to be as this mongoloid child. Dead to prejudice, judgmentalism, pride, anger and malice, not dwelling on the neagatives but thinking on the things that are pure and noble, of good report and lamblike in their disposition, childlike in their trust in their heavenly father and not easily offended.. Of such are the kingdom of heaven.
The father gives the kingdom and a child receives it. That is the way into the abundant life. Humbly acknowledging that it is truly a gift, deeply honoring what Jesus did to purchase it for us and loving God by simply receiving it and remaining childlike to live daily experiencing the life of God. Becoming Ta is the secret that allows you and I to enter in this very moment!!!