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.
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 »
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 »
Jesus was ever a lover of children. He accepted their childish sympathy and their open, unaffected love. The grateful praise from their pure lips was music in His ears, and refreshed His spirit when oppressed by contact with crafty and hypocritical men. Wherever the Saviour went, the benignity of His countenance, and His gentle, kindly manner won the love and confidence of children. DA 511.1Read in context »
You are not uniform in your treatment of your children. At times you indulge them to their injury, while at other times you refuse them some innocent gratification that would make them very happy. You turn from them with impatience and scorn their simple requests, forgetting that they can enjoy pleasures that to you seem foolish and childish. You do not stoop from the dignity of your age and station to understand and minister to the wants of your children. In this you fail to imitate Christ. He identified Himself with the lowly, the needy, and the afflicted. He took little children in His arms, and descended to the level of the young. His large heart of love could comprehend their trials and necessities, and He enjoyed their happiness. His spirit, wearied with the bustle and confusion of the crowded city, tired of association with crafty and hypocritical men, found rest and peace in the society of innocent children. His presence never repulsed them. The Majesty of heaven condescended to answer their questions and simplified His important lessons to meet their childish understanding. He planted in their young, expanding minds the seeds of truth that would spring up and produce a plentiful harvest in their riper years. 4T 141.1
In these children who were brought to Him that He might bless them He saw the future men and women who should be heirs of His grace and subjects of His kingdom, and some of whom would become martyrs for His name's sake. Certain unsympathizing disciples commanded that the children be taken away, lest they should trouble the Master; but as they were turning away in sadness, Christ rebuked His followers, saying: “Suffer little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.” 4T 142.1
He knew that these children would listen to His counsel and accept Him as their Redeemer, while those who were worldly-wise and hardhearted would be less likely to follow Him and find a place in the kingdom of God. These little ones, by coming to Christ and receiving His advice and benediction, had His image and His gracious words stamped upon their plastic minds, never to be effaced. We should learn a lesson from this act of Christ, that the hearts of the young are most susceptible to the teachings of Christianity, easy to influence toward piety and virtue, and strong to retain the impressions received. But these tender, youthful ones should be approached with kindness and taught with love and patience. 4T 142.2Read in context »
As interpreted by Jesus, flower and shrub, the seed sown and the seed harvested, contained lessons of truth, as did also the plant that springs out of the earth. He plucked the beautiful lily and placed it in the hands of children and youth, and as they looked into His own youthful face, fresh with the sunlight of His Father's countenance, He gave the lesson, “consider the lilies of the field, how they grow [in the simplicity of natural beauty and loveliness]; they toil not, neither do they spin: and yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” Then followed the assurance, “Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall He not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?” Matthew 6:28-30.... CT 179.1
In His work as a public teacher, Christ never lost sight of the children. When wearied with the bustle and confusion of the crowded city, tired of contact with crafty and hypocritical men, His spirit found rest and peace in the society of innocent little children. His presence never repelled them. His large heart of love could comprehend their trials and necessities, and find happiness in their simple joys; and He took them in His arms and blessed them. CT 179.2
In these children who were brought in contact with Him, Jesus saw the future men and women who should be heirs of His grace and subjects of His kingdom, and some of whom would become martyrs for His sake. He knew that these children would listen to Him and accept Him as their Redeemer far more readily than would the grown people, many of whom were worldly-wise and hardhearted. In His teaching He came down to their level. He, the Majesty of heaven, did not disdain to answer their questions and simplify His important lessons to meet their childish understanding. He planted in their expanding minds the seeds of truth, which in after years would spring up and bear fruit unto eternal life. CT 180.1Read in context »
In the work of the school maintain simplicity. No argument is so powerful as is success founded on simplicity. You may attain success in the education of students as medical missionaries without a medical school that can qualify physicians to compete with the physicians of the world. Let the students be given a practical education. The less dependent you are upon worldly methods of education, the better it will be for the students. Special instruction should be given in the art of treating the sick without the use of poisonous drugs and in harmony with the light that God has given. In the treatment of the sick, poisonous drugs need not be used. Students should come forth from the school without having sacrificed the principles of health reform or their love for God and righteousness. 9T 175.1
The education that meets the world's standard is to be less and less valued by those who are seeking for efficiency in carrying the medical missionary work in connection with the work of the third angel's message. They are to be educated from the standpoint of conscience, and, as they conscientiously and faithfully follow right methods in their treatment of the sick, these methods will come to be recognized as preferable to the methods to which many have become accustomed, which demand the use of poisonous drugs. 9T 175.2
We should not at this time seek to compete with worldly medical schools. Should we do this, our chances of success would be small. We are not now prepared to carry out successfully the work of establishing large medical institutions of learning. Moreover, should we follow the world's methods of medical practice, exacting the large fees that worldly physicians demand for their services, we would work away from Christ's plan for our ministry to the sick. 9T 175.3Read in context »