|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
9:30-40 The time of Christ's suffering drew nigh. Had he been delivered into the hands of devils, and they had done this, it had not been so strange; but that men should thus shamefully treat the Son of man, who came to redeem and save them, is wonderful. Still observe that when Christ spake of his death, he always spake of his resurrection, which took the reproach of it from himself, and should have taken the grief of it from his disciples. Many remain ignorant because they are ashamed to inquire. Alas! that while the Saviour teaches so plainly the things which belong to his love and grace, men are so blinded that they understand not his sayings. We shall be called to account about our discourses, and to account for our disputes, especially about being greater than others. Those who are most humble and self-denying, most resemble Christ, and shall be most tenderly owned by him. This Jesus taught them by a sign; whoever shall receive one like this child, receives me. Many have been like the disciples, ready to silence men who have success in preaching to sinners repentance in Christ's name, because they follow not with them. Our Lord blamed the apostles, reminding them that he who wrought miracles in his name would not be likely to hurt his cause. If sinners are brought to repent, to believe in the Saviour, and to live sober, righteous, and godly lives, we then see that the Lord works by the preacher.
Verse 37. - Whosoever shall receive one of such little children in my name, receiveth me. Whosoever shall "receive;" that is, show him offices of kindness and charity. One of such little children; that is, such in simplicity, in innocence and humility, such as this little child is in age and stature. In my Name, that is, with special regard to my Name. He thus seems to link all that is good and beautiful with his Name; as all that is really good and excellent in man is a reflection of his goodness. St. Luke (Luke 9:48) says, 'Whosoever shall receive this little child in my Name receiveth me." Our Lord, therefore, speaks first, literally of a little child, and secondly, in a mystical sense, of those who are like little children; making that little child in his arms the figure and type of all those who are like little children. The sense, therefore, of his words is this: "Humility, which is the foundation and the measure of spiritual perfection, so pleases me that I delight in little children. And all who would be my disciples must become as little children, and so will they deserve to be received by all; for men will think that they receive me in them, because they receive them for my sake."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Whosoever shall receive one of such children,.... That is, any believer, who is like to such a child for humility, meekness, and lowliness of mind; and so the Syriac version renders it, , "one like to this child": and so the Arabic and Persic versions; for it cannot be thought that Christ's meaning is, that whoever takes up any little child, embraces, and takes notice of it, as he did, does what is after related; but that whoever shows respect, and performs the least office of love and kindness to the meanest believer, comparable to a little child, for the above excellent qualities, and he does this, says Christ,
in my name; on account that he belongs to Christ, is one of his, bears his image, partakes of his grace, is loved by him, and shall be glorified with, him: such is Christ's great regard to his humble followers, that he takes it all one as if done to himself:
he receiveth me; this humble believer, being a member of his, and like unto him, and respected by him;
and whosoever shall receive me; Christ, in any of his members:
receiveth not me; that is, not him only; for he does receive him, otherwise there would be a contradiction in the words; but his meaning is, that he does not hereby receive him, by receiving one of his, nor him so much, as his Father:
but him that sent me; for as showing respect to one of Christ's members, is showing respect to him; so showing respect to Christ, is showing respect to his Father, from whence he came, by whom he was sent, in whose name he acted, and whose work and service he was concerned in.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
37. Whosoever shall receive one of such children—so manifesting the spirit unconsciously displayed by this child.
in my name—from love to Me.
receiveth me; and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but Him that sent me—(See on Mt 10:40).
Incidental Rebuke of John for Exclusiveness (Mr 9:38-41).
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