Luke 9:48

48 and said to them, 1"Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and 2whoever receives me receives him who sent me. For 3he who is least among you all is the one who is great."

Luke 9:48 Meaning and Commentary

Luke 9:48

And said unto them, whosoever shalt receive this child,
&c.] Or "one such little child", as in ( Matthew 18:5 ) and so the Syriac version here, "a child like to this"; and the Arabic version, "one like to this child"; not in age, but in meekness and humility; one that is not proud and haughty, ambitious of worldly honour, and envious at the superior state of others: whoever receives such an one into his house and heart, and the Gospel he preaches,

in my name;
because he belongs to me, is sent by me, and represents me, and delivers my message:

receiveth me;
represented by him, and will be so taken:

and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth him that sent me;
(See Gill on Mark 9:37)

For he that is least among you all;
that is so, in his own opinion, and behaves as such in his conduct, who is lowly and meek, and humble; and so the Ethiopic version, rather interpreting than translating, renders it, "for he that makes himself humble, who is lesser than all"; who considers himself as the least of the apostles, and unworthy to be one, as did the Apostle Paul:

the same shall be great;
shall be highly honoured with gifts, and made greatly useful, as the above mentioned apostle was: a saying like this, the Jews have F21;

``every one, (wmue Nyjqmh) , "that makes himself little", for the words of the law in this world, (lwdg hven) , "shall be made great" in the world to come;''

that is, in the days of the Messiah: and again it is said by F23 them,

``worthy is he that makes himself little in this world, how great and high shall he be in that world!--whoever is little shall be great, and he that is great shall be little.''


F21 T. Bab Bava Metzia, fol. 85. 2.
F23 Zohar in Num. for. 70. 1. & Tosaphta in Zohar in Gen. fol. 76. 2.

Luke 9:48 In-Context

46 An argument arose among them as to which of them was the greatest.
47 But Jesus, knowing the reasoning of their hearts, took a child and put him by his side
48 and said to them, "Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. For he who is least among you all is the one who is great."
49 John answered, "Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he does not follow with us."
50 But Jesus said to him, "Do not stop him, for the one who is not against you is for you."

Cross References 3

  • 1. [Matthew 10:40, 42]
  • 2. [Matthew 10:40, 42]
  • 3. Luke 22:26
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.