The Context of Jesus Blessing the Children

“Let the children come to me; do not prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”

Mark 10

These words of Jesus are often quoted as part of a feel-good, family-friendly message in churches. Jesus is nice and likes kids. All are welcome.

However, if we go to the actual context of these words, we find something quite different.

First, Jesus says these words after forbidding adultery and warning that those who divorce and remarry are guilty of adultery.

“Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”

Second, Jesus says these words not with a smile on his face, but in anger.

And people were bringing children to him that he might touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this he became indignant and said to them, ‘Let the children come to me.’.”

The danger the children face in this passage is not coming from the devil or “the world”, but from parents who don’t stay married and disciples who chase them away.

Sounds a lot like the situation in the Church today. WE are the ones threatening the children, not the outsiders. Parents–even Catholic homeschool parents!–are disobeying Christ’s commands and divorcing (I’ve seen four divorces among families enrolled in CLAA course), and the clergy acts with almost no regard for children–closing schools, creating scandals, generating confusion, etc.

William C. Michael
Classical Liberal Arts Academy

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