18:15 Now people 1 were even bringing their babies 2 to him for him to touch. 3 But when the disciples saw it, they began to scold those who brought them. 4 18:16 But Jesus called for the children, 5 saying, “Let the little children come to me and do not try to stop them, for the kingdom of God 6 belongs to such as these. 7 18:17 I tell you the truth, 8 whoever does not receive 9 the kingdom of God like a child 10 will never 11 enter it.”
1 tn Grk “they.”
2 tn The term βρέφος (brefos) here can refer to babies or to toddlers (2:12, 16; Acts 7:19; 2 Tim 3:15; 1 Pet 2:2).
3 tn Grk “so that he would touch them.” Here the touch is connected with (or conveys) a blessing (cf. Mark 10:16; also BDAG 126 s.v. ἅπτω 2.c).
4 tn Grk “the disciples began to scold them.” In the translation the referent has been specified as “those who brought them,” since otherwise the statement could be understood to mean that the disciples began scolding the children rather than their parents who brought them.
5 tn Grk “summoned them”; the referent (the children) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
6 sn The kingdom of God is a major theme of Jesus. It is a realm in which Jesus rules and to which those who trust him belong. See Luke 6:20; 11:20; 17:20-21.
7 sn The kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Children are a picture of those whose simple trust illustrates what faith is all about. The remark illustrates how everyone is important to God, even those whom others regard as insignificant.
8 tn Grk “Truly (ἀμήν, amhn), I say to you.”
9 sn On receive see John 1:12.
10 sn The point of the comparison receive the kingdom of God like a child has more to do with a child’s trusting spirit and willingness to be dependent and receive from others than any inherent humility the child might possess.
11 tn The negation in Greek used here (οὐ μή, ou mh) is very strong.