|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
18:7-14 Considering the cunning and malice of Satan, and the weakness and depravity of men's hearts, it is not possible but that there should be offences. God permits them for wise and holy ends, that those who are sincere, and those who are not, may be made known. Being told before, that there will be seducers, tempters, persecutors, and bad examples, let us stand on our guard. We must, as far as lawfully we may, part with what we cannot keep without being entangled by it in sin. The outward occasions of sin must be avoided. If we live after the flesh, we must die. If we, through the Spirit, mortify the deeds of the body, we shall live. Christ came into the world to save souls, and he will reckon severely with those who hinder the progress of others who are setting their faces heavenward. And shall any of us refuse attention to those whom the Son of God came to seek and to save? A father takes care of all his children, but is particularly tender of the little ones.
Verse 11. - This verse is omitted by the Sinaitic and Vatican Manuscripts, and many modern editors, e.g., Lachmann, Tischendort, Tregelles, Westcott and Hort, and the Revised Version; but is retained in many good uncials, nearly all the cursives, the Vulgate, Syriac, etc. It is supposed to be an interpolation from Luke 19:10; but one does not see why, if this is the case, the inter-polater should have left out the striking verb "to seek," which would naturally have coincided with "seeketh" in ver. 12. For expository use, at any rate, we may consider the verse as genuine, and take it as the commencement of the second argument for the dignity of the little ones - the simple and humble, whether children or others. This proof is derived from the action of God towards them. The Son of man is come to save that which was lost (τὸ ἀπολωλός). How can ye despise those whom Christ hath so loved and deemed so precious that he emptied himself of his glory and became man in order to save them? The general term, " that which was lost," is expressed by the neuter participle, to show that there is no exception to the wide scope of Christ's mercy. The race of man is lost; infants are born in sin; all need redemption. Everybody, poor, helpless, ignorant, tempted, comes under this category, and to save such Christ came down from heaven. Therefore their souls are very precious in his sight.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For the Son of man is come to seek that which was lost. This is another, and stronger reason, why these little ones should not be despised; because Christ, who is here meant by the Son of man, came into this world to save these persons; who were lost in Adam, and had destroyed themselves by their transgressions, and carries great force in it: for if God had so great a regard to these little ones, as to send his Son to obtain eternal salvation for them, when they were in a miserable and perishing condition; and Christ had so much love for them, as to come into this world, and endure the sorrows, sufferings, and death itself for them, who were not only little, but lost; and that to obtain righteousness and life for them, and save them with an everlasting salvation; then they must, and ought to be, far above the contempt of all mortals; and the utmost care should be taken not to despise, grieve, offend, and injure them in any form or shape whatever; see Romans 14:15. Beza observes, that this whole verse is left out in some Greek copies, but it stands in others, and in all the Oriental versions, and in Munster's Hebrew Gospel; nor can it be omitted; the following parable, which is an exemplification of it, requires it.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
11. For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost—or "is lost." A golden saying, once and again repeated in different forms. Here the connection seems to be, "Since the whole object and errand of the Son of man into the world is to save the lost, take heed lest, by causing offenses, ye lose the saved." That this is the idea intended we may gather from Mt 18:14.
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