Then were there brought unto him little children - These are termed by Luke, Luke 18:15, τα βρεφη, infants, very young children; and it was on this account, probably, that the disciples rebuked the parents, thinking them too young to receive good. See on Mark 10:16; (note).
That he should put his hands - It was a common custom among the Jews to lay their hands on the heads of those whom they blessed, or for whom they prayed. This seems to have been done by way of dedication or consecration to God - the person being considered as the sacred property of God ever after. Often God added a testimony of his approbation, by communicating some extraordinary influence of the Holy Spirit. This rite has been long practised among Christians, when persons are appointed to any sacred office. But this consecration of children to God seems to have grown out of use. It is no wonder that the great mass of children are so wicked, when so few, are put under the care of Christ by humble, praying, believing parents. Let every parent that fears God bring up his children in that fear; and, by baptism, let each be dedicated to the holy trinity. Whatever is solemnly consecrated to God abides under his protection and blessing.
Then were brought little children - See also Mark 10:13-16; Luke 18:15-17. Probably these were brought by some of his followers, who desired not only to devote themselves to Jesus, but all that they had - their children as well as themselves. All the Jews were accustomed to devote their children to God by circumcision. It was natural, therefore, under the new dispensation, that it should be done. Luke says they were infants. They were undoubtedly those who were not old enough to come by choice, but their coming was an act of the parents.
Put his hands on them and pray - It was customary among the Jews, when blessings were sought for others in prayer, to lay the hands on the head of the person prayed for, implying a kind of consecration to God. See Genesis 48:14; Matthew 9:18. They had also much confidence in the prayers of pious men, believing that those blessed by a saint or a prophet would be happy. See Numbers 22:6; Luke 2:28.
The disciples rebuked them - That is, reproved them, or told them it was improper. This they did, probably, either:
1.because they thought that they were too young; or,
2.because they thought that they would be troublesome to their Master.
She had lost her son, who was not prepared to die. She spoke, with others, in the social meeting. Oh, her heart was so heavy and sad, but she said she was comforted with the words spoken by Sister White. We had a good, profitable social meeting, then this afflicted sister spoke to me about her son they had buried a few weeks before, dying without hope, and the sorrow and grief she had felt. I entreated her to leave the mourning for the dead, which would do no good to worry over; that she as a mother should wisely and mercifully care for the living children, and that she had not a moment to devote to vain regrets, but to gird up the loins of her mind and go to work and try to bring her children to Jesus and herself surrender to Christ that she might grow in grace and the knowledge of Christ. Working in Christ's lines, she would never grow cold but become identified with the Saviour in all His plans.—Manuscript 83, August 12, 1893, diary. TDG 233.6Read in context »
The tone of voice that you use is a means of educating your children. No one ever knows all the troubles that the little hands give. Mothers, there is One who knows all—that is, the God of heaven. Every day that you fulfill your duties, mothers, the words “Conqueror through Christ Jesus” are written opposite your names. What barriers are you going to build up against their souls? Do not threaten them with the wrath of God if they do wrong, but bring them in your prayers to Christ. Have your home as attractive as you can have it. Put back the drapery and let heaven's doctor in, which is sunlight. You want peace and quiet in your homes. You want your children to have beautiful characters. Make home so attractive that they will not want to go to the saloon. Show them the flowers and leaves of the tree. Tell them that God made every spire of grass, and gave the beautiful tints to every flower. Tell them that here is the expression of God's love to you, that this is the voice of God speaking to you that He loves you. Te 290.1
Homes Like Abraham's—You want your homes to be like Abraham's. He commanded his household after him. He taught them to obey the commands of God. These are the lessons, mothers, that you are to patiently teach your children. You cannot afford to spend time in studying the fashions of the day. Teach them that they are Christ's property. We are making characters today. Young men, young women, you are determining your lot in the future today. Let Christ come in. He will preserve you from temptation. Te 290.2Read in context »
As Jesus ministers in the streets of the cities, mothers with their sick and dying little ones in their arms press through the throng, seeking to come within reach of His notice. MH 38.1
Behold these mothers, pale, weary, almost despairing, yet determined and persevering. Bearing their burden of suffering, they seek the Saviour. As they are crowded back by the surging throng, Christ makes His way to them step by step, until He is close by their side. Hope springs up in their hearts. Their tears of gladness fall as they catch His attention, and look into the eyes expressing such pity and love. MH 38.2Read in context »
Preaching for Children—At every suitable opportunity let the story of Jesus’ love be repeated to the children. In every sermon let a little corner be left for their benefit. The servant of Christ may make lasting friends of these little ones. Then let him lose no opportunity of helping them to become more intelligent in a knowledge of the Scriptures. This will do more than we realize to bar the way against Satan's devices. If children early become familiar with the truths of God's Word, a barrier against ungodliness will be erected, and they will be able to meet the foe with the words, “It is written.”—Gospel Workers, 208 (1915). Ev 349.1
Dedicating Children—Let the minister not forget to encourage the precious lambs of the flock. Christ, the majesty of heaven, said, “Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.” Jesus does not send the children to the rabbis; He does not send them to the Pharisees; for He knows that these men would teach them to reject their best friend. The mothers that brought their children to Jesus, did well. Remember the text, “Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.” Let mothers now lead their children to Christ. Let ministers of the gospel take the little children in their arms, and bless them in the name of Jesus. Let words of tenderest love be spoken to the little ones; for Jesus took the lambs of the flock in His arms, and blessed them.—The Review and Herald, March 24, 1896. Ev 349.2
Sabbath Sermons for Visitors—When learned men, statesmen, and so-called honorable men are present in a place of worship, the minister thinks he must give them an intellectual treat; but in attempting to do this he loses a precious opportunity of teaching the very lessons that were presented by the greatest Teacher the world ever knew. All the congregations in our land need to learn more of Christ and Him crucified. A religious experience that is not founded in Christ and Him alone is worthless. These men of intellectual powers need a clear, Scriptural presentation of the plan of salvation. Let the truth, in its simplicity and power, be presented to them. If this does not hold the attention and arouse the interest, they never can be interested in heavenly and divine things. In every congregation there are souls who are unsatisfied. Every Sabbath they want to hear something definite explaining how they can be saved, how they are to become Christians. The important thing for them to know is, How can a sinner be presented before God? Let the way of salvation be presented before them in simplicity, just as plainly as you would speak to a little child. Lift up Jesus as the sinner's only hope.—Manuscript 4, 1893. Ev 350.1Read in context »