We stopped last time in the middle of a passage I was presenting from Micah, chapter 6. I stopped after verse 7, so I will repeat the verses and then continue.
Micah 6:6 Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old?
7 Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
8 He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
Of all the things that could have been listed here as requirements for man, God chose to emphasize only three, and one of them is humility before God. Do you think God is suggesting that humility is important?
Obviously! Yet I daresay that humility is probably not on the list of daily goals for most of us, is it? Why is it so hard for us to seek humility? The answer? Because we are proud! It goes against that most basic and fundamental of all sins: the pride of self. Humility means recognizing that someone else is in control. And that is Someone with a capital “S,” the Lord God Almighty.
Humility is a requirement for entering the kingdom of heaven. We know that attaining to the high calling of being an overcomer qualifies one for rulership in the kingdom of heaven. But it seems that the Bible also teaches that—leaving overcomership aside—just getting into heaven as an ordinary Christian will require humility.
Matthew 18:1 At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?
First, let’s notice their question. They did not ask Jesus about the requirements for getting into the kingdom, but rather about being the greatest in the kingdom. But how does Jesus answer them?
2 And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,
3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Jesus does not immediately answer their question about being the greatest. First, He simply sets forth a couple of requirements for even entering the kingdom. We can all agree that being converted is a requirement for entering the kingdom, but what is this additional requirement about becoming like little children? Well, I think the meaning becomes clear as Jesus then goes on in verse 4 to actually answer the specific issue about being the greatest.
4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
It seems obvious that the quality about becoming as little children in verse 3 just …