As a Little Child

When Jesus' disciples asked him, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" his answer must have been startling in its rebuke to the selfishness which had caused them to dispute as to which of them should hold the highest place. Calling a little child to him and setting him in their midst, Jesus said, "Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." To bring the lesson home yet more plainly, Jesus went on to say, "Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven."

Jesus here presented the first requisites to progress heavenward. Unless you are converted and become humble as a little child, you cannot enter into God's kingdom! To the material sense of things what could seem more difficult of accomplishment than to attempt to meet these demands? Steeped in the pride and arrogance of its own claim to self-sufficiency, material sense objects strenuously to the necessity of conversion. It does not wish to be transformed, and therefore resists whatever demands the humility needed for such complete regeneration. It claims heaven to be possible without either conversion or humility. Christian Science exposes all such falsity by bringing to the attention of mankind the simple fact that the kingdom of heaven is God's government realized and demonstrated; and what but childlike humility could ever enter "the realm of unerring, eternal, and omnipotent Mind," which is the way Mrs. Eddy partially defines this kingdom of heaven on page 590 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures."

Now to become humble as a little child has always seemed a difficult problem to mortals. Christian Science, however, in its clear teaching that man is not material but, instead, is spiritual, shows that true humility demands the willingness to relinquish all that is material, and to accept only that which is spiritual. When Christian Science came with its wonderful illumination of the Scriptures, drawing the line so distinctly between spiritual man made in the image and likeness of God, Spirit, and the Adam-dream, or belief in man as material, the truth about conversion immediately became apparent. Christian Science teaches plainly and simply that conversion is the changing of one's standpoint from a material to a spiritual basis; that is, man must be accepted as God's spiritual image and likeness under God's direct government, instead of a material being, existing in and of matter. It may be readily seen that this must mean the constant rejection and relinquishment of all that is unlike God, in order that men may demonstrate spirituality.

Lecture in The Mother Church
November 10, 1923

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