Updated: Dec 6, 2021
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INTRODUCTION. This story took place near the end of Jesus' ministry. Leaving Galilee for the last time where He had taught and performed miracles for a long period, Jesus journeyed to Judea. His journey took him "beyond the Jordan," that is, on the east side of the Jordan River through the province of Perea (Matt. 19:1; Mark 10:1). This was the route most often taken by the Jews as they traveled from Galilee to Judea, for there they could go to and from Jerusalem without passing through the "unholy ground" of Samaria. The people of Perea were under the same laws as the inhabitants of Galilee and Judea. During the time of Jesus' ministry, Herod Antipas, one of the sons of Herod the Great, had jurisdiction of Galilee and Perea.
As Jesus traveled toward Judea, the multitudes followed him, and as was his custom, He taught them and healed them (Matt. 19:2; Mark 10:1). The people brought little children and infants to Jesus for him to lay his hands on them and pray (Matt. 19:13; Mark 10:13; Luke 18:15). Thus these children were brought to Jesus by their parents for a blessing. Infants and children were generally held in low esteem in the heathen Greek and Roman societies, but the Jews considered children a blessing from God.