During Jesus’s three year ministry, his disciples discussed amongst themselves who would be the greatest in the Kingdom of God.    Overheard by Jesus,  He decided to show them the honest truth.. that they may as well forget about even entering the Kingdom’s gates unless they enter as a little child.       Calling over a little boy who was nearby,   He then placed this child right in their midst, and told them, ‘Unless you become as this little child, you will in no way even ENTER the Kingdom of God.” That immediately shot down the disciple’s presumptious assumptions right at their roots.

Why would this little child be their role model?     Because this little child, first of all CAME to Jesus when He was called.    Secondly,   after being called, He allowed our Lord to place him where He wanted him to be placed.   The child did not argue or refuse to comply.  He didn’t make excuses but quietly responded and obeyed and he allowed “another to gird him and lead him where he would not normally choose to go.”

Jesus was already that ‘little child”.   At birth, He set aside His Divinity and lived as a servant and bondslave to His Father… allowing the Father to place Him on earth wherever He willed,  and allowing the Father to have His complete control over every detail in Jesus’s life…   Regardless of how undesirable these details were in the Father’s plan.. Jesus submitted Himself out of love to the Father’s will and allowed the Father to “place” Him wherever He -the Father- desired.

Later , after Jesus had been resurrected from death by crucifixion.,  He asked Peter,  three times, “Simon, Bar Jonah, Do you love Me?”

“….Jesus asked a third time, “Simon son of John, do you love Me?” Peter was deeply hurt that Jesus had asked him a third time, “Do you love Me?” “Lord, You know all things;” he replied, “You know I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.”  “Truly, truly, I tell you, when you were young, you dressed yourself and walked where you wanted; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and Someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.”   Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. After He had said this, He told him, “Follow Me.”…  (John 21:18)

Upon listening to Jesus, perhaps Peter recalled at that moment when Jesus had placed that little child in their midst and taught them how they must become like that little child to enter God’s Kingdom.    Like that little child, Peter would have to surrender his self will and extend his hands to that Someone, Who is None other than Christ and allow HIM to lead him and place him where he would not choose otherwise.    First Jesus would clothe him with HIS garments and gird him., then lead him out of himself to a greater surrender of genuine love that he had never experienced before.

“When you will grow old…” Jesus said,  indicated not necessarily only physical old age, but also when Peter would mature spiritually and have that unselfish love for our Lord which speaks, “Lord, do with me what pleases Thee”.