See the notes at Matthew 19:13-15.
Should touch them - That is, should lay his hands on them, and pray for them, and bless them. Compare Matthew 19:13. It was common to lay the hands on the head of a person for whom a blessing was asked. See the case of Jacob, Genesis 48:14.
Saw it - Saw the conduct of his disciples.
Was much displeased - Because, first, it was a pleasure to Him to receive and bless little children; and, secondly, they were doing what they were not commanded to do - interfering in a case where it was evidently improper.
Whosoever shall not receive - Whosoever shall not manifest the spirit of a little child.
The kingdom, of God - The gospel. The new dispensation by the Messiah, “or the reign of God through a Mediator.” See the notes at Matthew 3:2.
As a little child - With the temper and spirit of a child - teachable, mild, humble, and free from prejudice and obstinacy.
Shall not enter therein - Shall not be a Christian; shall not be a “real” member of the family of Christ on earth. though he may be a “professor,” and shall never enter heaven.
Took them up in his arms - These were small children.
Blessed them - Prayed for them, sought a blessing on them, or gave them the assurance of his favor as the Messiah. How happy would it be if all parents thus felt it to be their privilege to present their children to Christ! The question with a parent should be, not whether he ought to present them by prayer, but whether he “may” do it. And so, too, the question respecting infant baptism is not so much whether a parent ought to devote his children to God in this ordinance, as whether he may do it. It is an inestimable privilege to do it; it is not a matter of mere stern and iron-handed duty; and a parent with right feelings will come to God with his children “in every way,” and seek his blessing on them in the beginning of their journey of life. Our children are given to us but for a little time. They are in a world of danger, sin, and woe. They are exposed to temptation on every hand,
If God be not their friend, they “have” no friend that can aid them in the day of adversity, or keep them from the snares of the destroyer. If he is their friend they have nothing to fear. The “proper expression, then, of parental feeling,” is to come and offer them early to God. A parent should ask only the “privilege” of doing it. He should seek God‘s favor as the best inheritance of his children; and if a parent may devote his offspring to God - if he may daily seek his blessing on them by prayer - it is all that he should ask. With proper feelings he will rush to the throne of grace, and daily seek the protection and guidance of God for his children amid the temptations and snares of an ungodly world, and implore Him to be their guide when the parent shall be laid in the silent grave. So children who have been devoted to God - who have been the daily objects of a father‘s prayers and a mother‘s - tears who have been again and again presented to Jesus in infancy and childhood - are under the most sacred obligations to live to God. They should never forget that a parent sought the favor of God as the chief blessing; and having been offered to “Jesus” by prayer and baptism in their first days on earth, they should make it their great aim to be prepared to meet “him” when he shall come in the clouds of heaven.
Here are younger children. Christ loves you. When the mothers brought the little children to Jesus that He might place His hands on them in blessing, the disciples were going to send them away. The Master was giving important lessons to the people, and the disciples thought He should not be disturbed. Jesus heard their words. Said He, “Forbid them not ... : for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” RC 249.5Read in context »
Jesus Blessed the Children—In the days of Christ mothers brought their children to Him, that He might lay His hands upon them in blessing. By this act they showed their faith in Jesus and the intense anxiety of their hearts for the present and future welfare of the little ones committed to their care. But the disciples could not see the need of interrupting the Master just for the sake of noticing the children, and as they were sending these mothers away, Jesus rebuked the disciples and commanded the crowd to make way for these faithful mothers with their little children. Said He, “Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto Me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” AH 273.1
As the mothers passed along the dusty road and drew near the Saviour, He saw the unbidden tear and the quivering lip, as they offered a silent prayer in behalf of the children. He heard the words of rebuke from the disciples and promptly countermanded the order. His great heart of love was open to receive the children. One after another, He took them in His arms and blessed them, while one little child lay fast asleep, reclining against His bosom. Jesus spoke words of encouragement to the mothers in reference to their work, and, oh, what a relief was thus brought to their minds! With what joy they dwelt upon the goodness and mercy of Jesus, as they looked back to that memorable occasion! His gracious words had removed the burden from their hearts and inspired them with fresh hope and courage. All sense of weariness was gone. AH 273.2Read in context »
Jesus loves little children. When the mothers brought their children to Jesus, the disciples attempted to send them away. But Jesus rebuked them, and said, “Suffer the little children, and forbid them not, to come unto Me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” He then gathered them in His loving arms and blessed them. Those parents and teachers who have no love or patience with children are to be pitied, for they have not the mind of Christ. Those who are seeking to gather the children into the Sabbath school are doing a good work, the very work the Master would be pleased to have them do. The expanding minds of even small children may comprehend very much in regard to the teachings of Christ, and may be taught to love Him with all their ardent affections. Teachers and parents should sow beside all waters, and if faithful they may have a harvest of souls by and by. And when they shall see the souls for whom they have labored, around the great white throne, with crowns and white robes and harps of gold, they will feel then that their efforts were not lost. The well done, good and faithful servant, will fall upon their ears as sweet music.—The Signs of the Times, June 23, 1881. CSW 55.1
There are many children who plead a lack of time as a reason why their Sabbath school lessons are not learned; but there are few who could not find time to learn their lessons if they had an interest in them. Some devote time to amusement and sight-seeing; others, to the needless trimming of their dresses for display, thus cultivating pride and vanity. The precious hours thus prodigally spent are God's time, for which they must render an account to Him. The hours spent in needless ornamentation, or in amusements and idle conversation, will, with every work, be brought into judgment.—Testimonies on Sabbath-School Work, 8. CSW 56.1Read in context »
When children realize that their parents are trying to help them, they will bend their energies in the right direction. And to the children who have right instruction in the home, the advantages of our schools will be greater than to those who are allowed to grow up without spiritual help at home. CT 118.1
Children who have not experienced the cleansing power of Jesus are the lawful prey of the enemy, and the evil angels have easy access to them. Some parents are careless and suffer their children to grow up with but little restraint. Parents have a great work to do in the matter of correcting and training their children, and in bringing them to God and claiming His blessing upon them. By the faithful and untiring efforts of the parents, and the blessing and grace bestowed upon the children in response to the prayers of the parents, the power of the evil angels may be broken and a sanctifying influence shed upon the children. Thus the powers of darkness will be driven back. CT 118.2Read in context »