Matthew 19:13-15. Then were brought unto him little children Luke says, βρεφη , infants. It is not said by whom they were brought, but probably it was by their parents or guardians: and herein, 1st, they testified their respect for Christ, and the value they set upon his favour and blessing: and, 2d, manifested their love to their children, not doubting but it would be for their benefit in this world and the next to have the blessing and prayers of the Lord Jesus, whom they looked upon at least as an extraordinary person, a holy man, and as a prophet, if not also as the Messiah, and the blessings of such were valued and desired. Observe, reader, they who glorify Christ by coming to him themselves, ought further to glorify him by bringing their children to him likewise, and all upon whom they have influence. That he should put his hands on them and pray It appears to have been customary among the Jews, when one person prayed for another who was present, to lay his hand upon the person’s head; and this imposition of hands was a ceremony used in ancient times, especially in paternal blessing: thus Jacob, when he blessed and adopted the sons of Joseph, laid his hands upon their heads, Genesis 48:14-20. And the disciples rebuked them That is, them that brought the children; probably thinking such an employ beneath the dignity of their Master. But Jesus said, Suffer little children to come unto me Mark says, that when Jesus saw it, that is, observing his disciples rebuking those that brought the children, he was much displeased, namely, to find his disciples so defective in benevolence toward objects whose innocence and helplessness entitled them to great affection from persons of riper years. He ordered them therefore to let the children be brought to him; saying, For of such is the kingdom of heaven The Church of God on earth, and his kingdom in heaven, is composed of persons who resemble little children in their dispositions; and children, even in a natural sense, have a right to be admitted into his kingdom, the gospel authorizing the ministers of Christ to admit the children of believing parents into his church by baptism, and those that die in infancy being undoubtedly heirs of eternal glory. And he laid his hands on them, as he was desired to do, and blessed them, Mark 10:16; recommended them in a solemn manner to the divine blessing and favour.
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