Question: "How did Jesus interact with children?"
Answer: Scripture records few instances of Jesus interacting with children, but in each one we see Jesus treat the children with kindness and love, therefore showing how much He values them.
Probably the most well-known account of Jesus interacting with children is found in Mark 10: “People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. 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.’ . . . And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them” (verses 13–14, 16). Here Jesus not only welcomes the children into His presence but also blesses each one individually.
The Bible records that many parents, knowing Jesus’ love for children and His ability to perform miracles, brought their ailing children to Jesus to be healed. These healings included curing diseases (John 4:46–52) and casting out demons (Mark 7:24–30; 9:14–27). Jesus also raised at least one child from the dead, as related in the story of Jairus’s daughter (Luke 8:40–56).
Over the course of His ministry, Jesus often presented children as an example of the type of faith adults are to have. When Jesus blessed the children, He told His disciples, “Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it” (Mark 10:15). In another instance, when the disciples were fighting about who would be the greatest in God’s kingdom, Jesus brought a child to stand in their midst. He then chided His disciples: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:2–4). According to Jesus, the qualities of children that are worthy of emulation are humility and simple acceptance.
Jesus wants each of us to possess a childlike faith; that is, a pure, unassuming, and humble faith. This straightforward type of faith allows us to receive God’s gift of salvation without pretention or hypocrisy. It allows us to believe unswervingly that God is who He says He is. Like children who rely on their parents’ provision for daily needs, we should humbly depend on our Heavenly Father for provision in both the spiritual and physical realm.