Mark 10:13 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Mark 10:13, NIV: People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them.

Mark 10:13, ESV: And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them.

Mark 10:13, KJV: And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them.

Mark 10:13, NASB: And they were bringing children to Him so that He would touch them; but the disciples rebuked them.

Mark 10:13, NLT: One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him.

Mark 10:13, CSB: People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them, but the disciples rebuked them.

What does Mark 10:13 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The request for Jesus to touch the children is a request for Him to bless them (Mark 10:16). "Bless" is from the Greek root word eulogeo and can mean to praise, celebrate, or consecrate the thing or person being blessed. To bless someone is to do work for their benefit or to hope or pray for one's benefit. God blessed His creation (Genesis 1:22; 5:2), Noah's family (Genesis 9:1), and Abraham (Genesis 12:1–3; 22:16–18). As Jacob lay dying, he performed a blessing for his sons that acted as a prophecy as well (Genesis 49). The parents probably think Jesus, a respected rabbi, can pray that God will act on behalf of their children. They didn't understand that He is God, and He genuinely delights in the children.

The disciples think the whole thing is a nuisance. Their roles in Jesus' ministry have changed since they were first chosen, and the attention has gone to their heads. First, Jesus singles out the Twelve for special responsibilities and training (Mark 3:13–21). Then He establishes the practice of explaining His public parables in a more private setting (Mark 4:10, 33–34). He allows them to witness His most powerful miracles (Mark 4:35–41; 6:45–52) and to understand—but not spread—the truth that He is the Messiah (Mark 8:27–30).

Outside of teaching, Jesus also gives the Twelve more practical tasks. They insulate Him from the mobs (Mark 3:7–9; 4:1). They act as His representatives when He sends them out to preach and perform miracles (Mark 6:7–13). And they manage the large crowds during Jesus' miraculous provision of food (Mark 6:41; 8:6).

But, despite having seen Jesus show special care for the dismissed and powerless (Mark 5:25–34, 36–42; 7:25–30, 32–35; 8:22–25) and affirming a man with more faith than connections (Mark 9:38–41), the disciples still think they need to protect Jesus from the people He is there to see. Jesus continuously calls them to be servants to the weak (Mark 9:35), but they still try to take control.