Why Did Jesus Love Children So Much?

The Gospels tell us that Jesus particularly loved children. Time and again, Jesus goes to extreme lengths to avoid pursuing disciples but seems to have all the time in the world for children. Why did Jesus love children so much, and what can we adults learn from them?

“Let the Children Come to Me”

Many of the most pivotal events in Jesus’s life are recorded in only one Gospel. Historians and theologians alike are thrilled when even two Gospels recount the same incident. One of the gentlest moments in Jesus’s entire earthly ministry is recorded in three Gospels.

Jesus is with His apostles, and crowds are coming. In this particular community, it’s a different crowd: people bring their children to Jesus so He might bless them. The apostles rebuke the crowds, no doubt thinking that Jesus has more important things to do than play with kids. Jesus responds:

“Let the children come to me and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”

Mt 19:14; Mk 10:14; Lk 10:21

“Whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” (10:15)

So, how does a child receive the Kingdom of God? How can we do likewise?

“In my experience, I’ve found that children’s faith is refreshingly straightforward. For instance, when I once shared a story from the Bible with my nephew, his eyes lit up with wonder and curiosity. He didn’t question the logic or historical accuracy but simply embraced the story’s message. This pure, unadulterated acceptance is something we adults can learn from.”

Children are trusting

According to a recent study by the Barna Group, over 85% of people who follow Christ do so before the age of 18. This statistic underscores the importance of fostering faith in children and nurturing their natural inclination towards trust and belief.

Throughout the gospels, Jesus explains some part of the plan for His ministry only to be met by second-guessing and cross-examination—sometimes from his enemies and sometimes from his apostles. 

How often do we do this when we encounter challenging scripture?

Think of the last time you wrestled with some aspect of your faith. Maybe it was the mystery of the Trinity, human nature, and original sin. It is laid out in black and white scripture, but you couldn’t swallow it.

One day, the child in my life was walking past a crucifix in church that she must have passed a hundred times before. But this time, something made her think twice about it, and she asked me why someone had done that to Jesus.

I told her that Jesus volunteered to be punished for everything we did wrong because He loves us that much. She understood.

That she immediately accepted a fact that countless grown adults can’t understand isn’t a credit to my ability to explain things. It’s a testament to a child’s ability to take things on faith. All of us should echo the prayer that Jesus offered:

“I thank thee, Father, lord of heaven and earth, that Thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes, yea, for such is thy gracious will”.

Mt. 11:25

Children are humble

In many cultures, children are seen as symbols of innocence and purity. This perception is reflected in religious and philosophical traditions worldwide, where children are revered for their straightforwardness and untainted view of the world. We can cultivate a more genuine and humble approach to our spiritual journeys by embracing these qualities.

Think again of the above scenario: she asked me a question because she didn’t know the answer and thought I did. How many times have you not asked a question because even the act of asking a question admits that you don’t know something? To ask a question is an act of humility.

More than this, think about why a child would want to achieve the Kingdom of God in the first place. Their only motivation could be love. 

What are our motivations? Fear of Hell? The promise of rest after a weary life? How often does Jesus describe the Kingdom of Heaven only to have his apostles ask whether they will be seated in places of honor or power? The typical response that Jesus gives to these inquiries is that the least shall be the greatest:

“Unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

Whoever humbles himself like this child, he is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.” Mt 18:03

Turn and Become Like Children

Jesus loves children. Why? Because children love in ways that most of us have lost. Children don’t ask for power, escape, or even wisdom. Like all other lessons, this is easier to read than learn, particularly for adults.

Let’s challenge ourselves to approach our faith with the same openness and humility. Take a moment each day to observe the world through the eyes of a child—full of wonder, trust, and love.

Encourage the children in your life to ask questions, explore their faith, and join them in their journey of discovery. By doing so, we enrich our spiritual lives and help nurture the next generation of believers.

2 responses to “Why Did Jesus Love Children So Much?”

  1. paula Avatar

    Amazing article! I loved reading it!

    1. Operando Avatar

      Thank you Paula, glad you like the article!

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