The Blessing of the Children: Scriptures and Purpose

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

Why did Jesus bless the children and why do churches often ask a blessing on children according to Jesus’ example?

Gifts of God

Why did Jesus bless the children and why do churches often ask a blessing on children according to Jesus’ example? First of all, we must acknowledge that children come from God. The little ones God blesses us with are a gift from Him. The Bible even says, “Lo, children are a heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward” (Psalm 127:3). Children are not a privilege but a reward from God Himself. We should rejoice at the birth of children and grandchildren. These precious ones were brought into time and space; into existence, by God’s sovereign will and good pleasure. We should rejoice before God as such a great gift as a human being that’s come into the world and the parents receive from God, His reward.

Given by God

We might think we had a part in bringing children into the world but they are undoubtedly a gift of God, planned for all eternity (Eph 1). A good example of that is in Genesis 33:5 which says, “When Esau looked up and saw the women and children, he said “Who are these with you?” Jacob answered, “These are the children God has graciously given your servant.” Jacob didn’t say, “My wives and I decided to have a lot of children.” Jacob understood from Whom these children had come and it was directly from God. Did you or did I have any choice about being born? Did we have any say as to when and where we’d be born? Was it left up to us about who are parents would be? The answer is no to all these questions. The good pleasure in His sovereignty was the only reason any child was born. God is the Giver of life.

The Rebuke

When parents or grandparents wanted to bring their children to Jesus, the disciples tried to stop them. Perhaps they thought that children would be a nuisance or underfoot, or they were not significant enough to “trouble the Master,” but Jesus had different ideas. In Mark 10:13-14 it says that “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.” By trying to prevent the children from coming to Jesus, the disciples were preventing the children from being blessed. In fact, Jesus would say that unless we come to Christ as a child, we cannot enter the kingdom, so Jesus rebuked the disciples for their poor judgment about children coming to Jesus. For such is the Kingdom, He will later say.

The Blessing

Jesus allowed, and in fact, encouraged people to bring children to Him. Today, we must strive to lead our own children and grandchildren to Jesus. Remember what our Lord said: “Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.” (Mark 10:15-16). Why must we be like a child in coming to Jesus? Children are pliable, asking many questions, humble, submit to authority, teachable, curious (like a sponge!), and fully dependent upon someone else (their parents). Unless we become teachable, humble, and have child-like dependence upon God, we may not be headed toward the kingdom.

Church Growth

I have had parents and grandparents apologize for their children or babies making noise during services, but I tell them, “That’s the future of our church! I love hearing the children in church. I’d rather hear children in church than have silence in the pews.” These children are the heritage of the church. They will be the leaders of tomorrow after we’re gone. I once told our District Superintendent that I have a great church growth plan. Just keep having babies! I told the church the same thing. Of course, God actually gives increase to the church (1 Cor 3:6-8), but we want to be praying for the children in our church. We must be praying for the parents, grandparents and foster parents of the children in our church.

We must bless them in ways that are tangible. We must encourage them and help them where and when we can. We have an extended family in the church; the family of God. We must strive to bring the children to Jesus by preaching the gospel in Sunday school. We must pray that we may be used by God to bring the children to Jesus for a saving relationship and eternal life. Preach and teach the gospel to the little ones; leave the results up to God.


I do hope your church does the blessing to the children. We typically do it shortly after they’re born, but the decision is always up to the parents. There should never be any pressure. The time and place are up to the parents. We respect their wishes either way, but we can be used by God to help bring not only our own children and grandchildren to Christ, but other people’s children to Jesus too.  And we can do that by showing that Jesus lives in us. More is caught than taught, so be that example to them of what Christ is like. Show them the love of God by being part of their life. Include them in church activities when you can. They are part of the family…the family of God.

Unless you have trusted in Christ, you are not in the family of God. Only those who put their faith in Christ and God brought them to repentance are the children of God. Today let us bring others to Jesus so that they might receive eternal life (John 3:16) and avoid the wrath of God (John 3:36) that rightfully belongs to all of us (Rev 20:12-15).

Here is some related reading for you: How to Raise a Child in a Christian Home: 10 Important Tips

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: Study Bible: English standard version. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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