What does it mean to “receive” Christ? Do you know if you really received Christ? Be certain that there are many who think they have, but they have not. How can we know?
Jesus teaches that receiving Him is akin to receiving a child. Mt 9:46-48 says, “An argument started among them as to which of them might be the greatest. 47 But Jesus, knowing what they were thinking in their heart, took a child and stood him by His side, 48 and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in My name receives Me, and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me; for the one who is least among all of you, this is the one who is great.” To receive a child isn’t equal or alternative to receiving Christ. Receiving a child exemplifies, when done with love and sacrifice, what it means to receive Christ.
People do not always cherish the value of a child. They hinder them from coming to Christ. They are stumbling blocks to the children. Children are a gift or heritage from the Lord. And it takes a certain person who loves selflessly, who gives sacrificially of time and money and energy, to see a child for what it is and do whatever is possible to raise it and bring it to the Lord.
We are to “become like” the children, but we are also to receive Christ as we would a child. Mt 18:2-6 says, “2 And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, 3 and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 “Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 “And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me; 6 but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.
Take note from the Matthew passage above that “becoming like children” and “receiving a child” are two different things. Both are equally important and each are great illustrations of what discipleship means. The focus on this short lesson is on the second part, the “receiving” Christ as you would receive a child.
There are many people who are too busy chasing their dreams and worldly aspirations to truly “receive” a child in the way Jesus is calling for. If “receiving” a child meant throw some crumbs at the child whenever it screams from hunger or take it to the doctor only when it’s near death or cloth it only when its clothes are completely in tatters and shreds, then there would be many more disciples of Christ because that’s about they mean when they “receive” Christ.
To “receive” Christ is a monumental, life altering, schedule clearing, finance evaluating, talents dedicating decision – much like “receiving” a child into your life. The question is therefore have you truly received Christ into your life?