Let the Little Children Come to Jesus: Mark 10:13-16 (PART 2)

(The following is part two in a three part series by board member Rev. Matthew Black) (Part 1) (Part 3)

II. Consider Jesus’ love for children, “Let the little children come.” vs. 14.


Mark 10:14, “When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”

Jesus is furious. It is interesting to see the cause. We might have thought that other matters were more important, like evangelizing the key leaders. But no, nothing is more important to Jesus than the spiritual welfare of children. Jesus died so that children, and those who become like children, can be saved.[1]

The Anger of Christ Flashes

We see the anger of the Lord in verse 14, “When Jesus saw this, he was indignant [much displeased]”. Jesus was furious! What is it that makes one who is so gentle and loving to be furious? It is when we neglect our children.

You see our children are really not our children anyway. They are the Lord’s!

Psalm 127:3-5,

“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord the fruit of the womb a reward.,

4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth.

5 Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!

He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.”

Neglect Enflames the Indignation of Christ

We must not treat our children as if they are exclusively our own. Our children are on loan from the Lord. When we neglect our children, we enflame the indignation of God and His Son Jesus Christ.

How Do We Neglect Our Children?

Christ is so zealous to save little ones that His anger flashes when we neglect the spiritual well-being of little ones. Shall not the Lamb that was slain receive the full reward for His suffering?! Christ would today bring your little ones in to the Kingdom. Will you neglect them and think that He will not save them? How do we neglect them?

  • We expose them to worldly things that will enslave them and think it’s cute.
  • We allow our children’s friends to raise them and teach them how to live.
  • We neglect them when we fail to pray for our children
  • When we fail to pray WITH our children
  • When we do not lovingly and earnestly teach them the Gospel.
  • When we get exasperated with them
  • When we do not spend time with them and show other things to be more important than them.

We Don’t Expect the Conversion of Our Children

One way we hinder children, is that we as parents do not really expect the conversion of our children. How many mothers and fathers really expect their children to be converted at an early age?

Your indifference will show in their lives. The fact that you do not pray for them, that you do not evangelize them, and that you do not admonish them in the way of the Lord may be the reason why you may lose your child to the world in just a few short years. Are you teaching your children?

The Magna Carta for Children

Mark 10:14, “When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”

G. Campbell Morgan called this “the Magna Carta for Children.” It is a double imperative – as strong as He can make it. “Allow them to come – do not forbid them.” Furthermore, the word Jesus chose for “children” is the Greek work paidon, signifying a very little or young child, even an infant.

The idea is, you cannot start too early telling your children of Jesus. When the child is in the womb, sing to that child about Jesus Christ. Pray for that child to know Jesus. Speak of them of His love. Instruct them about His infinite power and love for them. He can save them. He died for their sins! You cannot start too young to evangelize your children.

Telling Your Children of Jesus is MOST Important

Mark 8:36, “For what does it profit a man [CHILD] to gain the whole world and forfeit his [OR HER] OWN soul?” Telling your children of Jesus is far more important than what school they attend. It is far more important than what spouse they choose. It is far more important than the job they are called to or the money they make.

My Parents Never Brought Me to Jesus

My Testimony: Jesus desires your children to come to Him. Isn’t it sad that I had to come to know Christ because an evangelistic group came to my public school and invited me to a religious service? My mother and father never taught me about Jesus Christ.

Sadly, my parents introduced me to cable television instead of introducing me to Jesus. When I came to know Christ my parents never brought me to a place of worship. I had to navigate that by myself.

But Jesus would have your children come to Him. He would have you bring your children to Jesus.

Children Can and Should Come to Christ

In saying, “for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these,” he affirms their full spirituality. They are the hearts he takes to himself! Here Christ affirms and proclaims the spiritual capacity of children. If there ever was a text relevant to child evangelism, this is it. Children can authentically come to Christ early on![2]

Charles Haddon Spurgeon once rightly said,

  • “A child of five, if properly instructed, can as truly believe and be regenerated as an adult.” And,
  • “A child who knowingly sins can savingly believe.”

What is the Kingdom of Heaven?

John MacArthur gives an excellent definition. He says, “The kingdom of heaven is the sphere of God’s rule in Christ through gracious salvation.” For those who have reached the age when personal saving faith can be exercised, the kingdom is entered by a divinely illuminated understanding of what it means to trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.[3]

The implication is that children have the capacity to enter the Kingdom. We don’t know what age a child understands, but I believe it is much sooner than any of us might realize. Sometimes little children have a greater faith, and a greater understanding than any of us knowledgeable adults!

[1] Carson, D. A., France, R. T., Motyer, J. A., & Wenham, G. J. (Eds.). (1994). New Bible commentary: 21st century edition (4th ed., p. 966). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press.

[2] Hughes, 57.

[3] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1985). Matthew (Mt 19:13). Chicago: Moody Press.

(watch for Part 3 in this series as we consider our need to come to Jesus like a child)