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Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary - Matthew 18:1-6

As there never was a greater pattern of humility, so there never was a greater preacher of it, than Christ; he took all occasions to command it, to commend it, to his disciples and followers. I. The occasion of this discourse concerning humility was an unbecoming contest among the disciples for precedency; they came to him, saying, among themselves (for they were ashamed to ask him, Mark 9:34), Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? They mean not, who by character (then the question had... read more

William Barclay

William Barclay's Daily Study Bible - Matthew 18:1-35

Matthew 18:1-35 is a most important chapter for Christian Ethics, because it deals with those qualities which should characterize the personal relationships of the Christian. We shall be dealing in detail with these relationships as we study the chapter section by section; but before we do so, it will be well to look at the chapter as a whole. It singles out seven qualities which should mark the personal relationships of the Christian. (i) First and foremost, there is the quality of... read more

John Gill

John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary - Matthew 18:3

And said, verily I say unto you ,.... You may take it for a certain truth, and what may be depended upon, that except ye be converted or turned ; from that gross notion of a temporal kingdom, and of enjoying great grandeur, and outward felicity in this world; and from all your vain views of honour, wealth, and riches, and become as little children : the Arabic renders it, "as this child"; that is, unless ye learn to entertain an humble, and modest opinion of yourselves, are not... read more

Adam Clarke

Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible - Matthew 18:3

Except ye be converted - Unless ye be saved from those prejudices which are at present so baneful to your nation, (seeking a temporal and not a spiritual kingdom), unless ye be clothed with the spirit of humility, ye cannot enter into the spirit, design, and privileges of my spiritual and eternal kingdom. The name of this kingdom should put you in mind of its nature. - The King is heavenly; His Subjects are heavenly-minded; Their Country is heavenly, for they are strangers and... read more

John Calvin

John Calvin's Commentary on the Bible - Matthew 18:3

Verse 3 3.Unless you are converted. To the example of little children must be referred the conversion of which he now speaks. Hitherto they had been too much habituated to the ordinary customs of men; and if they would gain their object, they must pursue a totally different course. (499) Every one wished for himself the first or the second rank; but Christ does not allot even the lowest place to any man who does not lose sight of distinctions and humble himself On the contrary, he says, read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Matthew 18:1-3

The kingdom of type childlike. Jesus Christ not only resorted to parables in order to make his teaching vivid; sometimes he made use of object lessons. Thus he answered the question as to who was greatest in the kingdom of heaven by pointing to the little child whom he had called to himself, and set up in the midst of his disciples. The child himself was a visible embodiment of the reply our Lord wished his questioners to receive. I. THE TYPE OF THE KINGDOM . The kingdom of... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Matthew 18:1-5

Heavenly greatness. As they journeyed to Capernaum the disciples of Jesus, like their countrymen, ever disposed to regard the kingdom of Messiah as secular, reasoned and disputed together as to which of them should be the greater in that kingdom. The knowledge of this contention probably influenced the conduct of Jesus in the matter of the tribute, in which he astonished them with an exemplification of supreme greatness in submission (see Matthew 17:22-27 ). A similar lesson is embodied in... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Matthew 18:1-14

The little ones. I. THEIR EXAMPLE . 1 . The question of the apostles . They had not yet learned the great lesson of humility. Perhaps the favour shown to Peter, James, and John had excited jealousies among them. On their way to Capernaum they had disputed who should be the greatest. After all the Lord's teaching they did not yet understand the spiritual nature of his kingdom. There are rivalries and animosities in earthly states; there should be none in that kingdom where the... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Matthew 18:1-14

Necessity of becoming like little children. To discuss in the abstract the question who shall be greatest in the kingdom of heaven, is a profitable employment. But when discussed with personal reference, and in view of present competing claims, there must inevitably be jealousies and rivalries, vanity and hatred. That his reply might lodge in their minds, and be audible to all generations, our Lord gives it dramatically. He calls a little child to him, perhaps one of Peter's children.... read more

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