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What does it mean that Jesus loves the little children?

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Question: "What does it mean that Jesus loves the little children?"

The famous children’s hymn “Jesus Loves the Little Children” was written by C. Herbert Woolston (1856—1927). The tune for the hymn was composed by George F. Root and originally had the title “Tramp, Tramp, Tramp, the Boys Are Marching.”

The lyrics are familiar to many:

   Jesus loves the little children
   All the children of the world
   Red and yellow
   Black and white
   They are precious in His sight.
   Jesus loves the little children
   Of the world.

The second and third verses use the same structure, but swap out “Jesus loves the little children” for “Jesus died for all the children” and then “Jesus rose for all the children.” Modern versions read, “Ev'ry color, ev'ry race, all are cover'd by His grace” instead of “Red and yellow, black and white. They are precious in His sight.”

The Bible supports the concept communicated by this children’s hymn. In fact, the Bible records several instances when Jesus interacted with children and treated them with love. According to these passages, Jesus values children and took the time to bless them individually.

One of the most well-known accounts of Jesus loving the little children is found in Mark 10:13–14, 16: “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.”

Jesus also healed many children throughout His earthly ministry—healing them from disease (John 4:46–52), casting out demons (Mark 7:24–30; 9:14–27), and raising at least one child from the dead (Luke 8:40–56).

Jesus clearly taught that He wants each of us to have the humility of children: “He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: ‘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).

What does this mean? Jesus is talking about humility. Jesus is exhorting us to seek the humility of a child—to have a faith destitute of ambition, pride, and haughtiness. Children are teachable, and we should be, too.

The Bible is clear, Jesus loves the little children of the world.

Recommended Resource: Jesus Loves the Little Children

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