12.04.01 Mk. 10:13-16 (See also Mt. 19:13-15; Lk. 18:15-17)
JESUS BLESSES THE CHILDREN
13 Some people were bringing little children to Him so He might touch them, but His disciples rebuked them. 14 When Jesus saw it, He was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to Me. Don’t stop them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 I assure you: Whoever does not welcome the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 16 After taking them in His arms, He laid His hands on them and blessed them.
In the midst of His challenges, Jesus took the time to bless the children. In doing so, He did nothing unusual. It was what every caring rabbi or loving father did. There was a wonderful custom of parents bringing their children, at an early age, to the synagogue that they might receive the prayers and blessings of the elders. It is the origin of today’s “child dedication service” in many churches. However, since Jesus had become such a prominent figure, the disciples considered these little ones to be an interruption. Consequently, He became upset. This account is the first recorded event where He became displeased with other believers. His anger was a response to injured love. He loved the children and desired to bless them and be responsive to the love of their parents who brought them.
The similarities between children and His followers, who are to be like children, are that children are pure, truthful, simplistic, sincere, and have a loving dependence upon their parents. Followers of Jesus are to have the same attributes with a loving dependence upon Jesus.
“Indignant.” This was the strong word that described Jesus when His disciples refused to let the children come to Him. It reflects the high degree of importance He placed on them and is used only here. Jesus blessed them, as a visual demonstration of the Kingdom of God.
. Becker, “Blessed, Blessing, Happy.” 1:213.
. Earle, Word Meanings in the New Testament. 93.