Matthew 19:15
And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence.
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(15) He laid his hands on them.—St. Mark records, as before, the act of caressing tenderness: “He folded them in His arms, and laid His hands upon them.” The words and the act have rightly been regarded, as in the Baptismal Office of the Church of England, as the true warrant for infant baptism. More than doubtful passages in the Acts and Epistles; more than the authority, real or supposed, of primitive antiquity; more than the legal fiction that they fulfil the condition of baptism by their sponsors—they justify the Church of Christ at large in commending infants, as such, to the blessing of their Father. The blessing and the prayer of Christ cannot be regarded as a mere sympathising compliance with the fond wishes of the parents, and if infants were capable of spiritual blessings then, why, it may well be asked, should they be thought incapable now?

19:13-15 It is well when we come to Christ ourselves, and bring our children. Little children may be brought to Christ as needing, and being capable of receiving blessings from him, and having an interest in his intercession. We can but beg a blessing for them: Christ only can command the blessing. It is well for us, that Christ has more love and tenderness in him than the best of his disciples have. And let us learn of him not to discountenance any willing, well-meaning souls, in their seeking after Christ, though they are but weak. Those who are given to Christ, as part of his purchase, he will in no wise cast out. Therefore he takes it ill of all who forbid, and try to shut out those whom he has received. And all Christians should bring their children to the Saviour that he may bless them with spiritual blessings.He laid his hands on them - Mark says he blessed them. That is, he pronounced or sought a blessing on them. Mt 19:13-15. Little Children Brought to Christ. ( = Mr 10:13-16; Lu 18:15-17).

For the exposition, see on [1329]Lu 18:15-17.

Ver. 14,15. Both Mark and Luke add something to this story. Mark saith, Mark 10:14-16, When Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them. Luke saith the same, Luke 18:16, only he saith, he called them unto him, and leaves out what Mark hath, Mark 10:16 of Christ taking them up in his arms, putting his hands upon them, and blessing them. From this text divines will prove the baptism of children, because theirs is the kingdom of heaven; which whether we understand of the church, and the dispensation of the grace of Christ under the gospel, viz. that the gospel church is made up of infants as well as more adult persons, or that the grace of Christ under the gospel, viz. remission of sins through the blood of Christ, doth belong to some children, as well as to grown persons; or of the kingdom of glory, viz. children shall go to heaven as well as grown persons; the argument is well drawn from this text, Those who have a right to a membership in the church are to be baptized; or, Those who have a right to the kingdom of glory may be baptized. But one or both of these are affirmed in this text. We must take heed we do not found infant baptism upon the example of Christ in this text, for it is certain that he did not baptize these children; Mark only saith, he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them. The argument for infant baptism from this text is founded upon his words, uttered on this occasion, not upon his practice. Mark addeth, that our Saviour told them, that unless a man received the kingdom of God as a little child, he could not enter into it. But we opened those words before, Matthew 18:3, where we met with the same in effect.

See Poole on "Matthew 18:3".

And he laid his hands on them,.... "And blessed them", as Mark says; he put his hands upon them, according to the custom of the country, and wished all kind of prosperity to them:

and departed thence, out of the house where he had been, and his disciples with him: the Ethiopic version renders it, "and they went from thence", from those parts, towards Jerusalem.

And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence.
Matthew 19:15. ἐπορεύθη ἐκεῖθεν; He departed thence, no indication whence or whither. The results of this meeting are conceivable. Christians may have come out of that company. Mothers would not forget Him who blessed their children on the way to His cross, or fail to speak of the event to them when they were older.

15. laid his hands on them] No unmeaning act, therefore infants are capable of receiving a blessing, though not conscious of an obligation.

Matthew 19:15. Ἐπιθεὶς αὐτοῖς τὰς χεῖρας, having laid His hands upon them) as He had been asked to do in Matthew 19:13. The imposition of the hand, and more particularly of the hands, was employed for conferring on, and propagating to, human beings, especially children and ministers of the Gospel, bodily blessings and spiritual gifts; see Acts 9:12; Hebrews 6:2; 1 Timothy 5:22; 2 Timothy 1:6. Our Lord is not said to have prayed, as He had been asked to do in Matthew 19:13, by those forsooth who were not fully aware of His oneness with the Father.

Verse 15. - He laid his hands on them. He was not influenced by the captious objections of the disciples. St. Mark tells us that "he took them up in his arms, put his bands upon them, and blessed them." Thus far he complied with the wishes of the parents who brought the babes to him. But we do not read that he prayed, as they had asked. Doubtless there was meaning in this omission. In conferring blessing he was acting in his Divine nature, and had no need of prayer. Sometimes, indeed, he prayed for the sake of bystanders (see John 11:42; John 12:30); here he prays not, that he may teach a lesson of his Divinity. Departed thence. Set out from Peraea, journeying towards Jerusalem. Matthew 19:15
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