Do Children Believe in God?
Indeed, at a first glance, the question, "Do children believe in God?" might appear to have a straightforward answer—yes. However, a deeper exploration of this topic reveals that the belief of children in God is closely tied to their upbringing.
Proverbs 22:6 (ESV) - "Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it."
A child's belief in God is largely shaped by the environment in which they are raised. The surroundings, the values imparted, the religious practices followed, and the ideologies advocated by the family—all of these significantly influence a child's perception of God.
See also: Is Faith A Gift From God?
- Children Celebrating Jesus' Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem
- Belief of Children Versus the Skepticism of Jewish Leaders
- Significance of Children's Praise
- Final Thoughts On Do children believe in God
Children Celebrating Jesus' Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem
On the day Jesus rode into Jerusalem, only six days before the Passover, the city was buzzing with anticipation. The crowds had laid down their cloaks, palm branches spread across the roads, and declared their faith by shouting praises:
“Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!” (Matthew 21:8-9).
Amid the jubilant crowd were children, their innocent voices adding to the collective worship.
Children and Their Expression of Faith
The children were neither hindered by doubt nor constrained by dogma. Their praises were genuine and untainted, springing from a place of absolute faith. This display of faith and praise was so powerful that Jesus equated it with strength and saw it as a means to silence His critics.
Belief of Children Versus the Skepticism of Jewish Leaders
Matthew 21:15-16 - "But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant, and they said to him, “Do you hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read, “‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise’?”"
Watching Jesus being hailed as the Messiah proved too much for the Jewish leaders. They were skeptical and irritated by the children praising Jesus as the Son of David. However, their hope to correct this 'error' and halt the children’s praises was squashed when Jesus not only accepted the praises but also applauded it.
Understanding the Messiah: Children Versus Jewish Leaders
In a moment of revelation, the children saw Jesus for who He truly was—their Savior—something the Jewish leaders failed to comprehend. Their praises represented the acceptance of Jesus as the Messiah, something which was beautifully summarized in Jesus's statement in Matthew 11:25–27:
"O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike. Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way!" (NLT).
Significance of Children's Praise
The praise that came from the mouth of the children was not a mere chorus in the crowd but was recognized as perfect praise. Their faith surpassed the wisdom of the Jewish leaders and even of the scribes.
Their praises served as a testament to their untainted faith and their ability to understand the spiritual truths that often elude adults. This was in accordance with what Jesus stated in Matthew 18:3-4:
"Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven."
Children's Faith: A Testament of God's Truth
A Bible commentator named Carr insightfully noted that the 'scarcely articulate' cry of an infant, much like the heaven and the stars, proves the power and providence of God (The Gospel According to St Matthew, Cambridge University Press, 1893). It was through these innocent voices that God's truth was attested in the temple.
Final Thoughts On Do children believe in God
The faith of children in God, as depicted in the event narrated in Matthew, is a testament to the divine connection between children and spirituality. This instance reminds us that children, with their sincere praises and unfiltered faith, have the ability to perceive and accept spiritual truths, often more than adults.