Today is World Children’s Day. It’s a day about improving child welfare around the world, and promoting and celebrating the rights of every child.

And this year’s celebration is extra unique—it also marks 30 years of the Convention on the Rights of the Child!

As Jesus followers, we know we serve a God whose heart is for children. In fact, throughout His time on earth, Jesus spoke extensively about protecting and loving children and about welcoming them into His kingdom.

Jesus has a tender, protective, caring toward children.

The New Testament is riddled with examples of Jesus calling children to come closer to Him, even when his closest friends insisted that he had better things to do (Mark 10:13-16).

“Jesus is not an accessory to the work we do. He is the guidepost.”

Jesus’ response to his friends’ rebuke is so telling. In verse 14, we are told that Jesus was indignant to the disciples’ harsh response. The Greek translation for the word “indignant” is a combination of two words: “much” and “to grieve.” Jesus was much grieved!

He is grieved when children are neglected.

He grieves when they are turned away or denied their rights.

He grieves when children are not known, loved and protected.

This is why Compassion works for the rights of children in Jesus’ name. Jesus is not an accessory to the work we do. He is the guidepost. Let’s take a look at the different times Jesus advocated for children in the Bible!

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Little girl smiles at the doorway of her home

“Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them. Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.'”

-Matthew 19:13-14

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Three friends wearing a uniform make funny faces at the camera.

“He called a little child to him, and placed the child amoung 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.  And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.'”

-Matthew 18:2-6

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baby in on the back of his mom making a shocked face.

“He took a little child whom he placed amoung them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, ‘Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.'”

-Mark 9:36-37

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Little girl smiles off into the distance in a field

 “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.”

 Matthew 18:10

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A pair of twins wearing the same outfits both look at the camera

“In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.”

-Matthew 18:14

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New born baby sleeps in a cozy blanket

“And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.”

-Mark 10:16 

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3 little girls sing for the camera

“But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David,’ they were indignant. ‘Do you hear what these children are saying?’ they asked him. ‘Yes,’ replied Jesus, ‘have you never read, ”From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise’’?”

 -Matthew 21:15-16

*Scripture taken from NIV version

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What scriptures inspire you to advocate for the well-being of children? Let us know in the comments below!

Written by: Laura Phillips

Laura Phillips is the Marketing Writer for Compassion Canada. She is passionate about pursuing justice and mercy through writing, crafting, music, and sharing stories over a cup of strong coffee.