1. Mark 10:13 (ESV)
  2. Exposition

Why did the disciples want to specifically stop children from coming to Jesus?

Mark 10:13 (ESV)

13 And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them.

We are not specifically told why the disciples wanted to stop the parents. Perhaps they thought the children were disruptive and would needlessly distract Jesus.1 Maybe they wanted him to rest and have some time to himself. They most likely shared the view of their culture and time in which children were considered unimportant,2 and therefore they did not think Jesus would want to be disturbed by them.

The ancient world in which the disciples lived did not have a romantic notion of children. Children added nothing to the family’s economy or honour and did not count. In the Greco-Roman world one could literally throw away children by exposing unwanted infants at birth. Some people would then collect exposed children and raise them to be gladiators or prostitutes and even disfigure them to enhance their value as beggars.3