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Reading Mark 32 – Welcoming Children

6 May 2020 | by Emyr James | Mark 10

32 – Welcoming Children

Mark 10:13-16

And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” And she took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.

Difficult Words

  • Rebuke: Sharp disapproval
  • Indignant: Anger at unfair treatment

Question 1

What sort of things might change as children grow?

Question 2

If a child is able to understand enough to become a Christian, what does this tell us about the good news of Jesus Christ?

  Have you ever heard the saying, ‘children should be seen and not heard’? it suggests that children are not as important as adults and need to keep quiet. It appears the disciples think something similar. When people come with children to be blessed by Jesus, the disciples try to prevent them. They thought that the King would be far too busy to deal with little children, that he had much better things to do with his time. But as we saw in Mark 9:30-37, Jesus has a lovely attitude towards small children. Really what Jesus is telling us in this passage is that every one of us has something to learn from children! Jesus tells us that the kingdom of God belongs to those who are like children, and that the only way to have entry into the kingdom is to have the attitude of a child. Does this mean that only children can be saved by Jesus Christ? If so, that is not good news for all the people who first hear about Jesus as adults. Obviously, this is not was Jesus means, or he wouldn’t have wasted so much time talking to adults!

  What Jesus means is, if you want to be part of the kingdom of God, then your attitude has to be like that of a child. What is a child’s attitude? We can say two obvious things. Children depend on other people. They are not able to do things for themselves, but they ask their parents. Therefore, every Christian must accept that they are not able to help themselves, and that they have to depend on God. He is the only one able to save. Secondly, children are supposed to listen to their parents and to believe that which they tell them. Even if they do not understand everything, they know that their parents love them and therefore they listen and believe. In the same way the Christian is supposed to listen to that which God says and believe.  Although we do not understand everything, we know that God loves us because he sent Jesus Christ to die for us.

Question 3

Is Jesus’s attitude towards children what you would expect?

Question 4

How might this change the way we share the message?


for help to depend on God and to believe in him, like a child.