The Kingdom of Heaven is a spiritual kingdom. It extends from inside the believer's heart into heaven itself where the King of Kings is setting on his throne. (Luke 17:21)
Mark states that the disciples were disputing amoungst each other over who was the greatest.
Luke states that Christ read their hearts and thus rebuked them.
---trey on 4/15/08|
"Verily" - This is the truth.
"Except ye be converted" - have a change of heart.
"and become as a little child" - not prideful, not worrying about temporal issues (i.e. "am I greater that the guy beside me?")
not looking down on others because of their dress, their economic status, their level of education, etc., but instead replace that heart with a heart of love, and compassion for our fellow man.
---trey on 4/15/08|
If we humble ourself as that little child before God, then we are able to enter into the kingdom of heaven.
A great example of this is the Publican who smote upon his breast Luke 18:13. He humbled himself, the Lord granted him entrance into the Kingdom. He went away justified. The Pharisee failed to enter in because of pride.
---trey on 4/15/08|
Clearly the disciples still suffer from human ambition: they want to occupy key positions when Jesus comes to establish his Kingdom on earth(Acts 1:6)To correct their pride, our Lord shows them a child and tells them that if they want to enter the Kingdom of heaven, they must decide to be like children: children are incapable of hating anyone and are totally inocent of vice, particulary of pride, the worst vice of all. They are simple and full of trust.
---Johannes on 4/15/08|
This passage as in John 2 where Christ was explaining "being born again", this is where Christ explains the love of the Father to his children. As with Nicodemus, we are not reborn from our mothers we are born again in spirit. Simply put, we love our earthly fathers...how much more, as a child, do we love our Heavenly Father.
---mark9997 on 6/22/07|
My thoughts. Children have not been lost to the carnal education of "churchianity" or adult carnality. They have not learned to distrust and will openly believe what they are told or shown. I call it mustard seed faith. A mustard seed is very tiny yet so pure it can not be cross bred. It also makes a large tree to be so small. A child with only a small amount of faith will grow because they have not yet learned to believe a doctrine of man. There is still room for God.
---mike_fl on 10/14/05|
The disciples were still anticipating an earthly kingdom and wondering what great positions they would have. Little children had no rights according to the law so Jesus used the child for an example. A change in the disciples' attitude was necessary because greatness in the kingdom was not based on great works or words but on childlike humility of spirit.
---polly on 10/12/05|
"The particular qualities of little children commended by Jesus are humility, freedom from prejudice, teachableness, lovableness, trustfulness, faith, freedom from anxiety, and innocence. Receiving a little child in Jesus' name refers to complete acceptance of a child-like believer because of his innocent and unrestrained trust in the Lord."
This quote above was taken from one of the commentaries I used to find your answer.
---WIVV on 10/12/05|
My understanding of this passage is this.To really be great in the kingdom of God,one has to be as a little child. A child that is innocent.One that is not corrupted by the world.I also believe that you have to have a great amount of faith and the ability to be humble and to follow teachings by faith.
---brend6857 on 10/12/05|
It is perhaps saying that seniority in the church, (such as being a pastor or elder or priest) and knowledge about the bible and the rules and the theology counts for nothing.
Those who admit they know nothing, but just trust and love have a much better chance of getting to the kingdom
---alan8869_of_UK on 10/12/05|