"Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."
Jesus did not say that the kingdom of heaven belongs to children...what He said is that the kingdom of God will be filled with people like children. In other words, being a child does not automatically mean you go to heaven (ie: age of accountability...but that's another blog for another time)...but being like a child is what gets us into heaven.
I've always had a vague understanding of what this meant until baby Sophia was born. I have spent the last twelve days holding our brand new baby girl and being amazed by her utter reliance on mom and dad. When I hold her in my arms, I can't help but note how she is so extremely small, and weak, and fragile, and....helpless. Helpless is really the key word. She can't even hold her own head up straight. She's stuck wherever I lay her down and she can't even change her position if she's uncomfortable because her muscles and fine motor skills are not yet developed. When she is startled she can't protect herself, she can only jerk and flail her arms in an brief uncoordinated moment. She can't do anything. She can't feed herself, burp herself, change herself, swaddle herself. She brings nothing to the table. Nothing. But she can cry. And when she cries strong, safe arms swoop down and pick that little baby up out of whatever predicament is ailing her. Liliya and I love that small, helpless little girl with a deep and powerful love and we would do anything, give everything for her. All she needs to do is cry.
That is what Jesus means when He says that the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these. He is looking for people who know they bring nothing to the table; who do not rely on their own abilities...but who are weak, helpless, meek and humble. All we need to do is cry out to Him and He will swoop down as a loving Father to save His beloved child. That is it. Salvation is not complicated...all you need to do is open your mouth and cry.
Then I called on the name of the LORD: “O LORD, save me!”...The LORD protects the simplehearted; when I was in great need, he saved me. -Psalm 116