Become as a Little Child
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January 20, 1974 (tape 203-B, CD 28)
My text is coming out of Matthew, the 18th chapter beginning with the first verse. “At that time, one of the disciples came unto Jesus and said, Who is greatest in the kingdom of heaven? 2) So Jesus called a little child and made him stand up in the midst of them. 3) And he said, Truly, I say to you, unless you change and become like a little child, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven. 4) Whoever therefore will humble himself like this little child shall be great in the kingdom of heaven. 5) And he who will welcome one like this little child in my name welcomes me. 6) And whosoever misleads one of these little ones who believes in me it would be better for him that a millstone were hung around his neck and he were sunk in the depths of the sea. 7) Woe to the world because of offenses. Offences are bound to come. But woe to the man by whose hand the offences come.”
This first seven verses of the 18th chapter of Matthew certainly answers a great many things. I could go into quite a number of these attributes that Jesus has summed up here in just those seven verses. Practically all, in fact all of the beginning teachings of this Order and he has summed up the prerequisites that are necessary for attainment. He has summed up the answer to a number of our great controversies today very decidedly and doesn’t give any room for questions.
And I’ll just speak in passing, he says here in the 5th verse “And he whom will welcome one like this little child in my name, welcomes me.” Now I won’t make any judgement, but I will just say that if you want an answer to the case of birth control that is so mysteriously and so confusedly being discussed, why read the 18th chapter, the first seven verses of St. Matthew. And I will say the same thing as I have said many times. It is not for me to make a decision whether a thing is right or wrong. Jesus Christ made that decision long before this time. There is no controversy, there is no decision to make; here is an answer. An answer? No, a declaration. He has told the people completely: If you wish to welcome me, he who welcomes one of these welcomes me. And what more, what else happens when a child is conceived but welcoming him into this world? What else? So if you welcome him into this world, then you are welcoming the Master, too. And if you turn aside from that welcome, then the Master is not welcome. Very simple. Nothing else.
But let us pass from that to something that is very important as far as we’re concerned, about change and about those things which we are interested in in this Order. “And so Jesus called a little child and made him stand up in the midst of them. And he said, Truly, I say to you, unless you change and become like a little child, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” He didn’t say if you were Protestant, if you were Catholic, if you were Mormon or Buddhist or anything else. He said very simply, just that. Unless you change and become like a little child you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. You shall not be permitted to go into the higher realms of things. He didn’t say conditionally if you were Buddhist, well you might make it that route. But this route you wouldn’t. Just flatly and very decidedly that you were not going to make it unless you became as a little child. “Whosoever will humble himself like this child shall be great in the kingdom of heaven.”
Now humility of course is necessary to some degree in order to have obedience. That is why I have so often said to an individual or student just coming in or one who is already here who is saying, ‘Well I can’t seem to make it. I can’t seem to reach the Self. I can’t seem to receive the Light. And I’ve tried, I’ve prayed, I’ve done this that and the other thing’. And I’ve said, ‘You be obedient and I will take you there’. Because I know that if they are obedient they have some degree of humility. There has to be. And when you have that degree of humility it is possible for it to grow unless you stop it. And of course you stop it when you try to figure it out.
All the power, all the love of God in all the wisdom which is accessible through that power and love stands ready. And the valve that turns it on and lets it come is when you stop trying to do and plan your life in this community. For when you’re trying to plan it you’re not listening to Jesus Christ. And when you’re not listening to Jesus Christ you’re not being a little child. I have many times talked with people, thirty-five or forty a day, and they have said to me, ‘You know, Father, it’s strange. You know I just wonder if it’s my being tempted or I have to be persecuted or trials or temptations. I’ve always gone to church. I’ve always given of my worldly goods to the church.’ Some church. It doesn’t make any particular difference what church you’re going to. ‘And you know I’ve always tried to do unto others as they would do unto me and I haven’t hurt or abused anybody’ and they go down with this nice long list of things they did but every one of those things all the way down, they did! When nowhere, nowhere was God listed or the will of Jesus Christ or the Father. Nowhere did they say to me in any particular category, ‘Well, I wonder why this didn’t work because, well, I have prayed about it for a long time’.
Many diligent people, many well meaning people, many good people don’t get their prayers answered. Because they always stand in their way, in their own way. Look, all you’ve got to do in this community is be obedient and be humble. And just listen.
You know, something happened a little while ago, about two months ago. Two and a half months ago, something like that. I had an evening when I happened to make a little contact with the Master. He said, “I want you to stay quiet as much as possible.” I said, “I’ve been awfully busy for a week, with the brothers down here.” He said, “When you’re busy with somebody else, I can’t get a chance to talk to you.” He said, “You can’t listen and talk at the same time.” I’m sure. I’ve never seen a person that has accomplished it yet. And nine out of every ten that come in for counseling, into my office, or I’m sure into one of my Teachers’ offices. Their trouble is just a busy mind trying to figure out what they’re going to do and whether it’s right or not. And whether they can squeak over that line, just out of the way, of being wrong and disobedient. They can get by that line over on this side of it so that they’re not disobedient. They’re not breaking the law but boy are they trying hard to get as close to it as they can. And would they like to, if they thought they could get away with it. Would they like to but they’re a little afraid of the ‘big policeman’ out there, you know?
Really, there are so many people that are good only because they’re afraid to be anything else. And that’s not a good situation either. And you can rule people with fear but that isn’t going to change them. Because until they give to their God, to their Father, and to Jesus Christ who paid the price, willingly, wanting to do it, with love of doing it,
(Tape ends here)