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Jesus Blesses Little Children

15 People were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them; and when the disciples saw it, they sternly ordered them not to do it. 16But Jesus called for them and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. 17Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.”


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Lu 18:15-17. Little Children Brought to Christ.

15. infants—showing that some, at least, of those called in Matthew (Mt 19:13) and Mark (Mr 10:13) simply "little" or "young children," were literally "babes."

touch them—or, as more fully in Matthew (Mt 19:13), "put His hands on them and pray," or invoke a "blessing" on them (Mr 10:16), according to venerable custom (Ge 48:14, 15).

rebuked them—Repeatedly the disciples thus interposed to save annoyance and interruption to their Master; but, as the result showed, always against the mind of Christ (Mt 15:23; Lu 18:39, 40). Here, it is plain from our Lord's reply, that they thought the intrusion a useless one, as infants were not capable of receiving anything from Him. His ministrations were for grown people.

16. But Jesus—"much displeased," says Mark (Mr 10:14); and invaluable addition.

said—"Suffer the little children to come unto Me"—"AND FORBID THEM NOT," is the important addition of Matthew (Mt 19:14) and Mark (Mr 10:14). What words are these from the lips of Christ! The price of them is above rubies. But the reason assigned, "For of such is the Kingdom of God," or "of heaven," as in Mt 19:14, completes the previous information here conveyed; especially as interpreted by what immediately follows: "And He took them up in His arms, put His hands upon them, and blessed them" (Mr 10:16). It is surely not to be conceived that all our Lord meant was to inform us, that seeing grown people must become childlike in order to be capable of the Kingdom of God, therefore they should not hinder infants from coming to Him, and therefore He took up and blessed the infants themselves. Was it not just the grave mistake of the disciples that infants should not be brought to Christ, because only grown people could profit by Him, which "much displeased" our Lord? And though He took the irresistible opportunity of lowering their pride of reason, by informing them that, in order to enter the Kingdom, "instead of the children first becoming like them, they must themselves become like the children" [Richter in Stier], this was but by the way; and, returning to the children themselves, He took them up in His gracious arms, put His hands upon them and blessed them, for no conceivable reason but to show that they were thereby made capable, AS INFANTS, of the Kingdom of God. And if so, then "Can any man forbid water that these should not be baptized which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?" (Ac 10:47). But such application of the baptismal water can have no warrant here, save where the infants have been previously brought to Christ Himself for His benediction, and only as the sign and seal of that benediction.




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