“13) And they were bringing children to Him so that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked them. 14) But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and said to them, “Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15) Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.” 16) And He took them in His arms and began blessing them, laying His hands on them.” Mark‬ ‭10‬:‭13‬-‭16‬ ‭
It would be a stretch to say that Jesus had a children’s ministry department. It would equally be wrong to say that Jesus had no ministry to children. Unlike Jewish culture, Jesus took time to bless children. He did not view them as a distraction.
Luke 18:15-17 records this same story, but he adds the detail that “they were bringing even their babies to Him, that He might touch them.” This is common today in many countries. People will line up with their infants and little children to have them touched and blessed by perceived leaders.
The disciples tried to hinder and rebuke this process. They saw it as an annoyance. But Jesus quickly made room for the little children.
Neither text indicates that the children were sick or ill. They merely wanted Jesús to touch and bless them. He did this by laying His hand on them. In some cases this was accompanied by a verbal blessing, but Mark stresses the point that He merely “touched them.”
In one sense, this was an indication of the status and honor Jesus had gained by these parents. They did not ask any of His disciples to touch or bless their little children. But they intuitively understood that Jesus placed high value on children and that a touch from Him would impart blessing.
I will resist the temptation of moving into a discussion of laying on of hands, but it was often included in the way Jesus ministered to people. A touch from Jesus imparted life, blessing and often healing.
Jesus again stressed the point of the kingdom of God belonging to children. Some look at this as a reference to innocence while others stress childlike faith. No matter your view, adults have much to learn from children. Take time for them!
However, this reference from Jesus should not be construed as meaning children are automatically born-again or saved. It does mean it was much easier for them to place saving faith in Jesus.
Daily Bible Commentary
By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global