Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Luke 18:16

But Jesus called for them, saying, "Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Chiding;   Children;   Church;   Jesus, the Christ;   Kingdom of Heaven;   Righteous;   Symbols and Similitudes;   Thompson Chain Reference - Childlikeness;   Simplicity;   Simplicity-Duplicity;   The Topic Concordance - Kingdom of God;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Kingdom of god;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Humility;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Hearing the Word of God;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Child;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Jesus Christ;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Luke, Gospel of;   Parables;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Parable;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Babe;   Children;   Complacency;   Heir Heritage Inheritance;   Manliness;   Mission;   Pride (2);   Property (2);   Simple, Simplicity ;   Worldliness (2);   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Chief parables and miracles in the bible;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Phar'isees,;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Jesus of Nazareth;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Children of God;  
Devotionals:
Chip Shots from the Ruff of Life - Devotion for February 1;  

The Biblical Illustrator

Luke 18:16

Suffer little children to come unto Me

Christ’s favour to little children displayed

1.
These children were not brought to Christ to be taught, for they were not yet capable of receiving instruction; nor could they profit by His preaching, or put any questions to Him. Those who are grown up to years of understanding, have need to be busy in getting knowledge now, that they may redeem the time they lost, through the invincible incapacities of their infancy.

2. Nor were they brought to Christ to be cured, for it does not appear that they needed it. Little children are indeed liable to many distempers, painful, mortal ones. The physicians have a book among them, “De Morbis Infantum”--on the diseases of infants. Death and its harbingers reign even over them who have not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, but these children were strong and healthful, and we do not find that anything ailed them.

3. They were brought to Christ to be blessed; so they meant when they desired that He would touch them: the sign is put for the thing signified.

I. HOW WE MUST BRING OUR LITTLE CHILDREN TO CHRIST.

1. By surrendering them to Him in Holy Baptism.

2. We must bring them to Christ, by seeking to Him for them, as those who are surrendered to Him. They are to be but once baptized, but they are to be daily prayed for, and the promise sealed to them in their baptism put in suit and pleaded with God in their behalf.

3. We must bring them to Christ, by submitting them to the disposal of His Providence. I have read of a good man, whose son being disposed of in the world, met with great affliction, which he once very feelingly complained of to his good father, who answered (according to the principle I am now upon), “Anything, child, to bring thee to heaven.”

4. We must bring them to Christ, by subjecting them, as far as we can, to the government of His grace. Having laid their necks under the yoke of Christ in their baptism, we must teach them to draw in it, and use our interest in them, and authority over them, to keep them under that easy yoke, and bring them up in the nurture and admonition of our Lord Jesus.

II. HOW CHRIST WILL RECEIVE THE CHILDREN.

1. He took those children up in His arms; and so we may hope He will take up our children in the arms of. His power and providence, and of His pity and grace.

2. He put His hands upon those children.

3. He blessed them. He was desired to pray for a blessing for them, but He did more, He commanded the blessing, blessed with authority; He pronounced them blessed, and thereby made them so; for those whom He blesseth are blessed indeed. Christ is the great High Priest, whose office it is to bless the people of God, and all theirs.

III. THE APPLICATION.

1. Let me hence address myself to children, to little children, to the lambs of the flock, to the youngest who can hear with understanding: will not you be glad to hear this, that the Lord Jesus Christ has a tender concern and affection for you; and that He has blessings in store for you, if you apply yourselves to Him, according to your capacity? Lay yourselves at Christ’s feet, and He will take you up in His arms. Give yourselves to Him, and He will give Himself in His grace and comforts to you. Lie in His way, by a diligent attendance on His ordinances, and He will not pass by without putting His hand on you. And if you value His blessings aright, and be earnest with Him for His blessings, He will bless you with the best of blessings, such as will make you eternally blessed.

3. Let this encourage us, who are parents, concerning our children; and enable us to think of them with comfort and hope, in the midst of our cares about them. When we wish well to them, we would willingly hope well; and this is ground of hope, that our Lord Jesus has expressed so much favour to little children.

A mother’s concern for her children

I feel a sympathy with what a woman said to me. I was told to come to her dying couch, and administer the sacrament. I went with an elder. She said: “I want to belong to the Church. I am going up to be a member of the Church in heaven; but I don’t want to go until I am a member of the Church on earth.” So I gave her the sacrament. And then she said: “Now, I am in the Church, here is the baby, baptize him; and here are all the children, baptize them all. I want to leave them all in the Church.” So I baptized them. Some years after, I was preaching one day in Chicago, and at the close of the service, a lad came upon the platform, and said: “You don’t know me, do you?” “No,” said I. “My name is George Parish.” “Ah,” said I “I remember, I baptized you by your mother’s dying bed, didn’t I?” “Yes,” he said: “You baptized all of us there, and I came up to tell you that I have given my heart to God. I thought you would like to know it.” “I am very glad,” I replied; “but I am not surprised. You had a good mother; that is almost sure to make a boy come to God if he has a good mother.” (De W. Talmage, D. D.)

Christianity and the destiny of children

When I was at Dhoas, writes a missionary’s wife, my husband opened the new chapel, which holds one hundred and fifty people. Sixty-five persons were baptized; among the rest several women. I proposed meeting them alone on Tuesday evening. One very nice-looking woman had a sweet-looking girl at her side, about ten years old. I said, “Amah, would you like me to teach your daughter?” With an indescribable look of tenderness she drew her to her side, and putting her arm around her, said, “This is my only one.” “Have you not had more children?” I asked. “Ah I yes, ma’am, I have had six; but they are dead. Yes, they all died, five of them, one after the other; they all died.” “And you, poor thing, how sorry you must have been!” “Heigh-ho! how sorry! Too much trouble! took; too much expense. After the first died I took sacrifices to the temple, and made worship to the idol, and told him I would give him all I could if my second might live; but he died. Then my heart was very sore; and when my third came, I went to a guru, and took a cloth, and fowl, and rice; and he said muntrums, and made pujah (worship); but no, that child, he died. My heart was like fire, it burned so with sorrow. I was almost mad; and yet I tried some fresh ceremony for every child.” “What did you think had become of the spirits of your children?” I asked. “You knew their bodies died, but did you think much of their spirits?” “Ah! that was the thing that almost made me mad. I did not know. I thought perhaps one devil took one, and another took another; or perhaps they were gone into some bird, or beast, or something, I did not know; and I used to think and think till my heart was too full of sorrow.” “But, Amah,” I replied, “you do not look sorry now.” With a look almost sublime, she said, “Sorry now! Oh, no, no! Why, I know now where my children are. They are with Jesus. I have learned that Jesus said, ‘Suffer little children to come unto Me.’ My sorrow is all gone, and I can bear their not being with me. They are happy with Him, and, after a little while, I shall go to Him too, and this little girl, my Julia, and my husband too.” (A. G.Thomson, D. D.)

Children the true saints of God

Mr. Gray had not been long minister of the parish before he noticed the odd practice of the grave-digger; and one day when he came upon John smoothing and trimming the lonely bed of a child which had been buried a few days before, he asked why he was so particular in dressing and keeping the graves of infants. John paused for a moment at his work, and looking up, not at the minister, but at the sky, said, “Of such is the kingdom of heaven.” “And on this account you tend and adorn them with so much care,” remarked the minister, who was greatly struck with the reply. “Surely, sir,” answered John; “I canna make ower braw and fine the bed-covering o’ a little innocent sleeper that is waitin’ there till it is God’s time to wauken it and cover it with white robe, and waft it away to glory. Where sic grandeur is awaitin’ it yonder, it’s fit it should be decked out here. I think the Saviour will like to see white clover spread abune it; dae ye no think sae tae, sir?” “But why not thus cover larger graves?” asked the minister, hardly able to suppress his emotions. “The dust of all His saints is precious in the Saviour’s sight.” “Very true, sir,” responded John, with great solemnity, “but I canna be sure wha are His saints, and wha are no. I hope thear are many of them lyin’ in this kirkyard; but it wad be great presumption to mark them oot. There are some that I’m gey sure aboot, and I keep their graves as nate and snod as I can, and plant a bit floure here and there as a sign of my hope, but daurna gie them the white shirt,” referring to the white clover. “It’s clean different, though, wi’ the bairns.” (A. G. Thomson, D. D.)

The blessed influence of children

Children are the salvation of the race. They purify, they elevate, they stir, they instruct, they console, they reconcile, they gladden us. They are the ozone of human life, inspiring us with hope, rousing us to wholesome sacrifice. If, in the faults which they inherit, they show us the worst of ourselves, and so move us to a salutary repentance, they also stimulate our finer qualities; they cheat us of weary care; they preach to us, not so much by their lips as by their innocence; their questions set us thinking, and to better purpose than the syllogisms of philosophers; their helplessness makes us tender; their loveliness surprises us into pure joy A child is a sunbeam on a winter sea, a flower in a prison garden, the music of hells over the noise of a great city, a fragrant odour in a sick-room. If any one thinks this exaggerated, I am sorry for him. It is literally true for me, and for tens of thousands who have far more right to it. These fingers tingle with a kind of happiness while I am writing about them here. My chilly friend need not have my joy if he does not believe in it, or care for it; I will not force it on him, but he shall not take mine from me. (Bishop of Rochester.)

1. With respect to THE COMMAND in the text. Those persons may be said to fulfil it, in the first place, who afford to children a Christian example. Now, let us consider here, what features of character may be best exemplified, so as to produce a good effect. One peculiar trait in the character of our Lord Jesus Christ was His consideration of human infirmity. “We have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities.”

2. Not only should our instructions be religious, but eminently evangelical, in order to benefit the young. In preaching, it is found that the preaching of mere morality, however luminous and explicit, and however judiciously and powerfully enforced, produces but very little effect.

3. Remember that all human instruction needs to be frequently repeated. Even adults, whose minds are not volatile as those of children, need “line upon line, line upon line, precept upon precept, precept upon precept.”

4. Allow me to call your attention, also, to another very important fact, namely, that without the influence of the Holy Spirit, no valuable effect can be produced.

II. In the text there is an allusion, also, to the character of THE ENCOURAGEMENT we may derive from the communication of such instructions: “Of such is the kingdom of God.” It might, indeed, be remarked here, that there is an admirable adaptation between what is taught, and the end you wish to produce--the means are exactly united to the end proposed. But--

1. Consider how much good is produced by the influence of habit. Now, when you have to do with children, you have to do with those whose minds are susceptible; and you may be instrumental in forming their habits, and in putting them on their guard against the dangers to which they are exposed.

2. Many to whom we address ourselves on the concerns of their souls, complain of want of time and of the distracting influence of the things of the world. But when you take youthful minds into your hands, you have to do with those on whom worldly cares have no influence.

3. The things of the world produce, naturally, a kind of indurating influence. It tends to sink them down to that very situation in which the soul naturally wishes to be. And not only is there in the minds of children a tenderness of feeling for the reception of these great and important truths, but also a freshness and vigour for the exhibition of these truths, and for the exhibition of them to the greatest advantage. (R. Treffry.)

Why children should come to Jesus

I. THE CHILDREN OF TO-DAY SHOULD COME TO JESUS BECAUSE THEY NEED JUST SUCH A TEACHER, SAVIOUR, AND FRIEND. I remember a company of blind children from an asylum waiting at the door of one of our churches for some one from within to lead them to their place. Parents and teachers can lead a child to the door of a good life, but Jesus only can lead into goodness and heaven.

II. ANOTHER REASON WHY CHILDREN, AND LITTLE CHILDREN, SHOULD COME TO JESUS IS, THAT THEY ARE NOT SO FAR FROM HIM AS THOSE WHO HAVE GROWN OLD IN SIN. Every child is born close to heaven’s gate. Children’s hearts have fresh affections that turn to Jesus almost as readily as climbing plants in June wind about their proper support. If those plants lie along the ground till August they can hardly be made to climb at all so late in their life.

III. ANOTHER REASON FOR CHILDREN COMING TO JESUS IS HIS SPECIAL LOVE FOR THEM. (W. C. C. Wright.)

Children taken to Christ

Jesus is still calling little children to Him. His arms are ever open to receive them, and His lips parted to bless them. He loves them for their likeness to His own purity and gentleness. He would keep them gentle and pure, that He may present them perfect to His own Father. Let us beware of throwing any impediment between them and their Saviour; of suffering our indifference or neglect, our flimsy theories, hard doctrines, or evil examples, to prevent these little ones from seeing and loving the Son of Mary; from being folded in the arms of His grace, and being blessed by the influences of His religion and life.

I. LET US NOT FORBID THEIR COMING TO HIM IN THE RITE OF BAPTISM. If this is one of the calls which Jesus makes to little children; if He says to them, by a fair interpretation of the language of this rite, “Come to Me through the consecrated waters,” let us suffer them to go, and not stand in their way with our doubts, our fears, or our apathy. Let that heavenly dew be shed on the opening buds, and shed early. Say not that they are without stain, and therefore need not the purifying wave. Jesus Himself, who in a still higher sense was stainless, Jesus Himself was baptized. Say not that they do not know in what office they are participating. You know it, and feel it; and if they know it not now, they will know hereafter. If you will but reflect that it is the bringing of little children openly to Jesus, placing them in His arms, and yielding them to His blessing, you will have learned the whole reason, nature, and plan of the ordinance at once, because your heart has been your teacher. And you will gladly suffer little children to go in this way to their Friend, and never think of forbidding them.

II. Suffer them to go to Him, secondly, BY ALL THE MEANS OF A TRULY CHRISTIAN EDUCATION. Continue the intimacy which was commenced at the font. Make them acquainted with every expression of His countenance, with every grace and sweetness of His character. We forbid their going to Christ, if in any way we make them, or help them to make themselves proud, vain, revengeful, cunning, or selfish. We lead them to Christ by teaching them to know and love Him entirely, to feel the whole divinity of His lowly yet lofty virtues, to appreciate thoroughly and justly the glory of His humility, the dignity of His meekness, the heroism of His long-suffering, the harmonious perfection of His character, with which everything worldly is in necessary discord.

III. WE CAN HARDLY TEACH THEM THIS, UNLESS WE FEEL IT OURSELVES. Let us lead them, then, to Jesus, by the hand of our own example. Let us be especially cautious that our own selfish interests, bad passions, blind excesses are not placed in their way, to be stumbling blocks to their tender feet.

IV. Lastly, IT MAY BE THAT OUR CHILDREN MUST DEPART BEFORE US ON THE UNKNOWN JOURNEY, AND WITHOUT US. We must suffer them to go to the arms of Jesus in the world of spirits. It is hard to part with them--but by the effort of an humble resignation, we must suffer them to go. It may be that the Saviour hath need of them. We may know that there also He will love them, and watch over them, and lead them; and that His love, presence, and guidance are better for them than ours. (F. W. P. Greenwood, D. D.)

My fruit-tree

I had a comely fruit-tree in the summer season, with the branches of it promising plenteous fruit; the stock was surrounded with seven or eight little shoots of different sizes, that grew up from the root at a small distance, and seemed to compose a beautiful defence and ornament for the mother tree; but the gardener, who espied their growth, knew the danger; he cut down those tender suckers one after another, and laid them in the dust. I pitied them in my heart, and said, “How pretty were these young standards! How much like the parent! How elegantly clothed with the raiment of summer! And each of them might have grown to a fruitful tree.” But they stood so near as to endanger the stock; they drew away the sap, the heart and strength of it, so far as to injure the fruit, and darken the hopeful prospects of autumn. The pruning-knife appeared unkind indeed, but the gardener was wise; for the tree flourished more sensibly, the fruit quickly grew fair and large, and the ingathering at last was plenteous and joyful. Will you give me leave, Velina, to persuade you into this parable? Shall I compare you to this tree in the garden of God? You have had many of these young suckers springing up around you; they stood awhile your sweet ornaments and your joy, and each of them might have grown up to a perfection of likeness, and each might have become a parent-tree: but say, Did they never draw your heart from God? Did you never feel them stealing any of those seasons of devotion, or those warm affections that were first and supremely due to Him that made you? Did they not stand a little too near the soul? And when they had been cut off successively, and laid one after another in the dust, have you not found your heart running out more towards God, and living more perpetually upon Him? Are you not now devoting yourself more entirely to God every day, since the last was taken away? Are you not aiming at some greater fruitfulness and service than in times past? If so, then repine not at the pruning-knife; but adore the conduct of the heavenly Husbandman, and say, “All His ways are wisdom and mercy.” But I have not yet done with my parable. When the granary was well stored with excellent fruit, and before winter came upon the tree, the gardener took it up by the roots, and it appeared as dead. But his design was not to destroy it utterly; for he removed it far away from the spot of earth where it had stood, and planted it in a hill of richer mould, which was sufficient to nourish it with all its attendants. The spring appeared, the tree budded into life again, and all those fair little standards that had been cut off, broke out of the ground afresh, and stood up around it (a sweet young grove) flourishing in beauty and immortal vigour. You know not where you are, Velina, and that I have carried you to the hill of paradise, to the blessed hour of the resurrection. What an unknown joy it will be, when you have fulfilled all the fruits of righteousness in this lower world, to be transplanted to that heavenly mountain! What a Divine rapture and surprise of blessedness, to see all your little offspring about you at that day, springing out of the duet at once, making a fairer and brighter appearance in that upper garden of God, and rejoicing together (a sweet company), all partakers with you of the same happy immortality; all fitted to bear heavenly fruit, without the need or danger of a pruning-knife. Look forward, by faith, to that glorious morning, and admire the whole scheme of providence and grace. Give cheerful honours beforehand to your Almighty and All-wise Governor, who by His unsearchable counsels has fulfilled your best wishes, and secured your dear infants to you for ever, though not just in your own way; that blessed hand which made the painful separation on earth shall join you and your babes together in His own heavenly habitation, never to be divided again, though the method may be painful to flesh and blood. Fathers shall not hope in vain, nor “ mothers bring forth for trouble: they are the seed of the blessed of the Lord, and their offspring with them” (Isaiah 65:23). Then shall you say, “Lord,here am I, and the children that Thou hast given me.” For He is your God, and the God of your seed in an everlasting covenant. Amen.

(Written by Dr. Watts to a lady on the death of several young children.)

Run to Jesus

An affectionate mother, when reading this passage with her little girl, said, “I would have led you forward to Jesus.” “You would not have needed,” replied the child, “I would have run.”

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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Luke 18:16". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/luke-18.html. 1905-1909. New York.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

But Jesus called them unto him,.... Not the disciples, as the Ethiopic version reads, nor the persons that brought the children, but the children themselves; for the antecedent to the relative αυτα, "them", can be no other; which shows, that these infants were not new born babes, or children at the breast, but such as were more grown up, since they were capable of being called to, and of coming to Christ:

and said; that is, to the disciples; so the Persic version expresses it:

suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not; See Gill on Matthew 19:14.

for of such is the kingdom of God; or "of heaven", as the Syriac version reads, and as in Matthew 19:14 that is, the kingdom of God belongs to such, "who are as these"; or, "like to these": as the Syriac, Arabic, and Persic versions render the words; (, Matthew 19:14.)

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Luke 18:16". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/luke-18.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

5 But Jesus g called them [unto him], and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

(5) The elect children of the faithful are included in the free covenant of God. (Ed.)

(g) Those that carried the children, whom the disciples drove away.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Luke 18:16". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/luke-18.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

But Jesus — “much displeased,” says Mark (Mark 10:14); and invaluable addition.

said — “SUFFER THE LITTLE CHILDREN TO COME UNTO ME” - “AND FORBID THEM NOT,” is the important addition of Matthew (Matthew 19:14) and Mark (Mark 10:14). What words are these from the lips of Christ! The price of them is above rubies. But the reason assigned, “FOR OF SUCH IS THE KINGDOM OF GOD,” or “of heaven,” as in Matthew 19:14, completes the previous information here conveyed; especially as interpreted by what immediately follows: “AND HE TOOK THEM UP IN HIS ARMS, PUT HIS HANDS UPON THEM, AND BLESSED THEM” (Mark 10:16). It is surely not to be conceived that all our Lord meant was to inform us, that seeing grown people must become childlike in order to be capable of the Kingdom of God, therefore they should not hinder infants from coming to Him, and therefore He took up and blessed the infants themselves. Was it not just the grave mistake of the disciples that infants should not be brought to Christ, because only grown people could profit by Him, which “much displeased” our Lord? And though He took the irresistible opportunity of lowering their pride of reason, by informing them that, in order to enter the Kingdom, “instead of the children first becoming like them, they must themselves become like the children” [Richter in Stier], this was but by the way; and, returning to the children themselves, He took them up in His gracious arms, put His hands upon them and blessed them, for no conceivable reason but to show that they were thereby made capable, AS INFANTS, of the Kingdom of God. And if so, then “Can any man forbid water that these should not be baptized which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?” (Acts 10:47). But such application of the baptismal water can have no warrant here, save where the infants have been previously brought to Christ Himself for His benediction, and only as the sign and seal of that benediction.

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Luke 18:16". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/luke-18.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Called (προσεκαλεσατοprosekalesato). Indirect middle aorist indicative, called the children with their parents to himself and then rebuked the disciples for their rebuke of the parents. The language of Jesus is precisely that of Mark 10:14 which see, and nearly that of Matthew 19:14 which see note also. The plea of Jesus that children be allowed to come to him is one that many parents need to heed. It is a tragedy to think of parents “forbidding” their children or of preachers doing the same or of both being stumbling-blocks to children.

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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Luke 18:16". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/luke-18.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

Suffer

See on Matthew 19:14. Only Mark notes the taking in his arms.

sa40

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Luke 18:16". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/luke-18.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

Calling them — Those that brought the children: of such is the kingdom of God - Such are subjects of the Messiah's kingdom. And such as these it properly belongs to.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Luke 18:16". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/luke-18.html. 1765.

The Fourfold Gospel

But Jesus called them unto him, saying, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for to such belongeth the kingdom of God1.

  1. Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for to such belongeth the kingdom of God. See .

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website. These files were made available by Mr. Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
Bibliographical Information
J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on Luke 18:16". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/luke-18.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

For of such, &c. Childhood is docile, lowly-minded, contented, and happy, and thus is an emblem of the Christian character.

Luke 18:18-23. This incident is related, in language slightly varied, in Matthew 19:16-22, and in Mark 10:17-22. Two serious difficulties arise in regard to the case: 1. What was the ground of objection to the expression, "Good Master," which would seem to have been a proper mode of addressing a divinely-commissioned prophet of singular benevolence of character; and 2. What was the reason for the direction that the young man should sell all his goods and give to the poor. Commentators endeavor to explain the case, but the explanations do not give entire satisfaction.

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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Luke 18:16". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/luke-18.html. 1878.

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

LESSONS FROM CHILDREN

‘Of such is the kingdom of God.’

Luke 18:16

Christ meant His disciples to understand that there are certain attributes in children which are also marks of a true Christian. What are these attributes?

I. The lesson of faith.—First of all the children teach us the lesson of faith. It is one of the principal charms of childhood, this sweet trustfulness; its trustfulness in parents, which by and by grows into a stronger and deeper trust in God the Father. The trust of the little child! What a wonderful look there is in a little child’s face when it looks up at you for protection! It seems to drag out of you everything that is good; you feel that you want to protect the child when there is that look of trust. Faith or trustfulness is mainly a mark of childhood, and we must remember that the child’s faith is faith in its parents. They are the final court of appeal to the little child; what they say is right and true. They are moulding the child’s character for the stronger religious faith, which will grow imperceptibly, in the Great Father of all.

II. The lesson of love.—The second lesson we learn from the child is the lesson of love. A child’s love is one of the most beautiful things in the world, because it is a most generous love. You remember the definition of Christian love which St. Paul gives when he says, ‘Love thinketh no evil.’ This is very true of a little child’s love. There must be in our lives a more generous love: a readiness to judge ourselves, less readiness to judge others; larger hearts and less criticism.

III. The lesson of humility.—The third thing the children teach us is the lesson of humility. We often hear people say that the great charm of childhood is humility. It is the rule to find humility in childhood, while in manhood it is the exception and not the rule. And this lack of humility, is it not often found, and is it not a grievous fault in many a religious man?

IV. The lesson of simplicity.—And, lastly, we come to the final lesson which children teach us. What do we mean by simplicity when we take it from the realm of childhood and apply it to ourselves? It means singleness of purpose. One of the first laws of the things of the Spirit is that we must be pure-minded. ‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.’ It is only to the pure in heart, the single-minded, that God can reveal Himself. ‘If thy heart be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.

—Rev. L. D. Currie.

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Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Luke 18:16". Church Pulpit Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/luke-18.html. 1876.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

16 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

Ver. 16. {See Trapp on "Matthew 19:14"}

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Luke 18:16". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/luke-18.html. 1865-1868.

Sermon Bible Commentary

Luke 18:16

I. One sense in which this text is true is, that the great company of those who are indeed the Saviour's people is made up of those who resemble little children in certain distinctive features of their character. The Church Militant, and far more the Church Triumphant, consists of such as these unsophisticated ones, fresh from God who is our home—their birth, perhaps, for what we know, a sleep and a forgetting; and the heaven they came from still around them in their infancy, as a poet of the purest inspiration has sung—such in temper, in disposition, in character. Of all things you could point to in this world, the thing that could give you the best idea of the essential spirit that is most childlike, is the spirit of an innocent and happy little child. Like teachable, like humble, like gentle, like affectionate, like confiding—should all true Christians be. Even worldly genius has told how beautiful it is to see something yet of the child's warm heart in the man with hoary hairs; something of the unspoiled freshness of infancy and its home-bred simplicity, abiding still with one who has seen the great world, and borne an honoured part in its conflicts and toils; one of those who, as St. Paul would have it, in malice are children, but in understanding are men.

II. There is another sense in which these words may be taken, which may well be cherished by most of our firesides. I believe that we may take these words of our Saviour in their literal meaning, as implying that the kingdom of God, the assembly of redeemed souls in heaven, is in great measure made up of little children. All that die in infancy are saved, and half the human beings born into this world die in infancy. If the entire human race should be gathered, sanctified, and forgiven, before the throne above, still each second one there would never have known more of this sinful and sorrowful world than comes within the brief experience of early childhood.

"God took them in His mercy, as lambs untasked, untried;

He fought the fight for them; He won the victory, and they are sanctified."

A. K. H. B., Graver Thoughts of a Country Parson, 3rd series, p. 141.


References: Luke 18:16.—Sermons for Boys and Girls, p. 102; Outline Sermons to Children, p. 171; S. A. Brooke, Christ in Modern Life, p. 275. Luke 18:17.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xxiv., No. 1439; E. W. Shalders, Christian World Pulpit, vol. viii., p. 3. Luke 18:22.—E. R. Conder, Drops and Rocks, p. 249. Luke 18:25.—Expositor, 1st series, vol. iii., p. 369. Luke 18:27.—Homiletic Magazine, vol. xvi., p. 233. Luke 18:28-30.—H. B. Bruce, The Training of Twelve, p. 262. Luke 18:29.—H. P. Liddon, Christian World Pulpit, vol. viii., p. 153. Luke 18:30.—Phillips Brooks, Twenty Sermons, p. 316.

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Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Luke 18:16". "Sermon Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/luke-18.html.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Luke 18:16. προσκαλεσάμενος, having called to Him) the more on that account [because the disciples had ‘rebuked’ them], and with a gracious tone of voice and expression of countenance.— αὐτὰ, them) Great condescension: comp. Luke 18:19. With good reason [as best exemplifying it Himself] He recommends ‘humility’ to us in Luke 18:14.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Luke 18:16". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/luke-18.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

See Poole on "Luke 18:15"

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Luke 18:16". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/luke-18.html. 1685.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Allow the little children to come to me, and forbid them not, for to such belongs the Kingly Rule of God.” ’

Jesus, however, saw things differently. He told His disciples to let the children come to Him. Indeed, He says, none have more right to the Kingly Rule of God than they, for they are so open to it. It belongs to them more than anyone else. They have no barriers built up within their hearts which prevent their open-hearted response to God.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Luke 18:16". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/luke-18.html. 2013.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

16.Suffer little children to come—For when they are brought they truly come. The act which brings them avails, as their own faith would, to place them into a visible and symbolical relation to Christ. And the reason why they should be brought is given by Mark, “for of such is the kingdom of God;” and inasmuch as “except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God,” it follows that these must be in a state virtually equivalent to that of the adult who is born again. A man is born externally of water, because he is born internally by the Spirit. John 3:3; John 3:5.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Luke 18:16". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/luke-18.html. 1874-1909.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Luke 18:16. , called, speaking to those who carried the infants. Lk. omits the annoyance of Jesus at the conduct of the Twelve, noted by Mk. Decorum controls his presentation not only of Jesus but of the Twelve. He always spares them (Schanz).— , of such; does this mean that children belong to the kingdom, or only that the childlike do so? Bengel, De Wette and Schanz take the former view, J. Weiss and Hahn the latter. Schanz says: “ with the article means not similarity but likeness with respect to something going before or following after. Therefore the children as such are recognised by Jesus as worthy of the kingdom.”

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Luke 18:16". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/luke-18.html. 1897-1910.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Jesus. See App-98.

little children. App-108.

the kingdom of God. App-112and App-114.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Luke 18:16". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/luke-18.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

But Jesus called them unto him, and said. In Mark, however, we have a precious addition, "But when Jesus saw it, He was much displeased" [ eeganakteese (Greek #23)], and said unto them," SUFFER [THE] LITTLE CHILDREN [ ta (Greek #3588) paidia (Greek #3813)] TO COME UNTO ME, AND FORBID THEM NOT. What words are these from the lips of Christ! The price of them is above rubies. But the reason assigned, in the words that follow, crowns the statement-FOR OF SUCH IS THE KINGDOM OF GOD-or, as in Matt., "OF HEAVEN."

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Luke 18:16". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/luke-18.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(16) Suffer little children to come unto me.—The close agreement with St. Mark in this and the following verse, makes it probable that this is one of the passages which St. Luke derived from personal communication with him. (See Introduction.)

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Luke 18:16". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/luke-18.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.
Suffer
Genesis 47:10-14; 21:4; Deuteronomy 29:11; 31:12; 2 Chronicles 20:13; Jeremiah 32:39; Acts 2:39; 1 Corinthians 7:14
for
Matthew 18:3,4; 1 Corinthians 14:20; 1 Peter 2:2
Reciprocal: 1 Samuel 1:25 - brought;  Ecclesiastes 12:1 - Remember;  Matthew 19:14 - Suffer;  Mark 10:13 - they;  Mark 10:14 - Suffer

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Luke 18:16". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/luke-18.html.