Does God expect the mentally handicapped to understand all about Jesus and the Bible before they can go to heaven?


I've started teaching in a special school for mentally handicapped children, many of whom have a very difficult time learning. Does God expect them to understand all about Jesus and the Bible before they can go to heaven? I don't see how they ever could, and it worries me.


God knows the limitations of these dear children, and you can be sure that He loves them and accepts them just as they are.

After all, none of us are saved because we understand everything there is to know about Jesus or God. We are saved only because we have faith—and sometimes our faith is very small. The little children who crowded around Jesus didn’t have any profound understanding of who He was or why He came, and yet He welcomed them and told His disciples, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these” (Mark 10:14). Jesus said God even rewards faith that is no bigger than a mustard seed (see Matthew 17:20).

I believe God has much to teach us through children with special needs. For example, they know what it means to depend totally on others and to trust others for their needs—just as we should trust God totally and completely. In my experience, they also can be very loving toward others—just as we should be if we are following Christ.

These children you seek to help every day may not always understand everything you try to teach them—but they will learn from your example. Ask God to help you be an example to them of Christ’s love and mercy.