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.
Listen to the words that He spoke as the weary mothers brought their children to Him to be blessed. The disciples, unwilling that their Master should be disturbed, were sending the women away, but Christ said, “Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God” (Mark 10:14). And taking them in His arms, He blessed them. Could the future of these children be opened before us we could see the mothers recalling to the minds of the children the scene of that day and repeating the loving words of the Saviour.... This same Jesus is your Saviour. HP 63.4Read in context »
The gifts of Him who has all power in heaven and in earth are in store for the children of God. Gifts so precious that they come to us through the costly sacrifice of the Redeemer's blood, gifts that will satisfy the deepest craving of the heart, gifts lasting as eternity, will be received and enjoyed by all who will come to God as little children.37 TMK 339.5Read in context »