The Kid Who Got Noticed


The good thing about being six years old is that you can squeeze through a crowd.

Which is what Jacob did. He pushed his way through past rows of villagers, bumping the odd arm, moving to the front with only a few protests. He could hear Jesus talking with his friends. Most of them didn’t have time to react.

He made it almost to the front.

“Where do you think you’re going?” a big man asked, standing in his way.

Jacob froze. He didn’t know what to say and was about to make his escape, until he heard his name.


Was he hearing right?

“Yes, Jacob!”

Jesus, standing before the crowd, called his name. He pushed by the big man who blocked his way to get a better look, and found himself standing beside Jesus. A hundred eyes stared at him. Jesus smiled, took a breath, and continued to speak.

“Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Pointing at Jacob, Jesus said, “Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

Jesus smiled, and Jacob started to smile too. But Jesus wasn’t done.

“Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.”

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.”

The moment felt frozen in time. Jesus kept teaching. Jacob started to back away. He needed to get home and think about what had happened.

He ran. He couldn’t stop thinking about the way he felt beside Jesus. It felt like Jesus saw him, that Jesus knew him.

He couldn’t understand it, but he knew that nobody had ever talked about him that way before. It wasn’t just what Jesus said. It’s how he felt standing next to Jesus.

He didn’t know how Jesus knew him, or why he spoke such words, but he knew one thing: he was only a kid. He mattered to Jesus. Jesus noticed even when nobody else gave him a second glance.

I don’t know if that’s exactly how the events of Matthew 18:1-10 took place, but it was something like that. I don’t know who would have been more surprised: the child or the crowd.

I do know that I — and I think most of us — tend to struggle with pride. I like to think that I’m a bigger deal than I really am. “Sometimes we learn humility because we seek it,” writes Karen Stiller. “More often, it finds us sitting around thinking we are a little bit fabulous.”

All I know is that I need this regular reminder. This story is so familiar and yet so new to me at the same time. Humility is the way. I don’t need to matter in order to matter to Jesus. I have lots to learn from a child.

Darryl Dash

Darryl Dash

I'm a grateful husband, father, oupa, and pastor of Grace Fellowship Church Don Mills. I love learning, writing, and encouraging. I'm on a lifelong quest to become a humble, gracious old man.
Toronto, Canada