Whoever rejects you,
Whoever rejects me,
Rejects the one
Who sent me.”
Ὁ ἀκούων ὑμῶν ἐμοῦ ἀκούει, καὶ ὁ ἀθετῶν ὑμᾶς ἐμὲ ἀθετεῖ· ὁ δὲ ἐμὲ ἀθετῶν ἀθετεῖ τὸν ἀποστείλαντά με.
Luke indicated that Jesus said that whoever listened to his disciples (Ὁ ἀκούων ὑμῶν), listened to him (ἐμοῦ ἀκούει). Whoever rejected them (καὶ ὁ ἀθετῶν ὑμᾶς), rejected him (ἐμὲ ἀθετεῖ). Whoever rejected Jesus (ὁ δὲ ἐμὲ ἀθετῶν), rejected the one who sent him (ὁ δὲ ἐμὲ ἀθετῶν). This is somewhat similar to Matthew, chapter 18:5, Luke, chapter 9:48, and Mark, chapter 9:37. However, there the story was about welcoming, receiving, or accepting a little child. Then they would welcome Jesus and then the one who sent him. Anyone who accepted this little child in Jesus’ name, welcomed Jesus and his Father, the one who sent him. Here, there is no mention of a child. They were to listen to Jesus and his disciples. If they listened to the disciples, they listened to him. However, if they rejected his disciples, they were rejecting him and the one who sent him. The emphasis here was on rejection, not acceptance. Do you accept and listen to the representatives of Jesus?
I say to you!
Whoever does not receive
The kingdom of God
As a little child
Will never enter it.”
ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, ὃς ἂν μὴ δέξηται τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ ὡς παιδίον, οὐ μὴ εἰσέλθῃ εἰς αὐτήν.
This story about Jesus wanting them to become like little children is in Matthew, chapter 18:3, and Luke, chapter 18:17, but slightly different. Jesus put an emphasis on becoming like little children to enter the kingdom of heaven. Mark said that Jesus made a solemn proclamation “Truly! I say to you!’ (ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν).” They had to receive the kingdom of God (ὃς ἂν μὴ δέξηται τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ) like a little child (ὡς παιδίον). Otherwise, they would never enter the kingdom of God (οὐ μὴ εἰσέλθῃ εἰς αὐτήν). There is no long explanation about being humble like this little child to be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven, as in Matthew. Pure and simple, they had to have the attitude of a young child to enter the kingdom of God.
“Jesus summoned a little child.
He put him
I say to you!
Unless you change,
Unless you become
Like little children,
You will never enter
The kingdom of heaven.
Whoever becomes humble
Like this little child,
Will be the greatest
In the kingdom of heaven.’”
καὶ προσκαλεσάμενος παιδίον ἔστησεν αὐτὸ ἐν μέσῳ αὐτῶν
καὶ εἶπεν Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, ἐὰν μὴ στραφῆτε καὶ γένησθε ὡς τὰ παιδία, οὐ μὴ εἰσέλθητε εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τῶν οὐρανῶν.
ὅστις οὖν ταπεινώσει ἑαυτὸν ὡς τὸ παιδίον τοῦτο, οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ μείζων ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τῶν οὐρανῶν.
This saying about the humble child as the greatest in heaven can also be found in Mark, chapters 9:36 and 10:15, as well as Luke, chapters 9:47 and 18:16-17, with some minor changes. Jesus put an emphasis on becoming like little children to enter the kingdom of heaven. Jesus called or summoned a little child (καὶ προσκαλεσάμενος παιδίον). He placed this little child in the middle of his disciples (ἔστησεν αὐτὸ ἐν μέσῳ αὐτῶν). Then he made a solemn proclamation ‘Truly! I say to you!’ (καὶ εἶπεν Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν). They had to change or convert to become like little children (ἐὰν μὴ στραφῆτε καὶ γένησθε ὡς τὰ παιδία). Otherwise, they would never enter the kingdom of heaven (οὐ μὴ εἰσέλθητε εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τῶν οὐρανῶν). Whoever became humble like this little child in their midst (ὅστις οὖν ταπεινώσει ἑαυτὸν ὡς τὸ παιδίον τοῦτο), would be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven (οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ μείζων ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τῶν οὐρανῶν). The greatest in heaven would be the simple humble little children or those who acted like children, without power and dependent on other people.
“The wolf shall live
With the lamb.
The leopard shall lie down
With the kid goat.
The calf shall be with the lion.
The lion and the fatling shall be together.
A little child shall lead them.
The cow and the bear shall graze together.
Their young shall lie down together.
The lion shall eat straw
Like the ox.
The nursing child shall play
Over the hole of the asp.
The weaned child shall put his hand
On the adder’s den.
But they will not get hurt.
They will not destroy
All my holy mountains.
The earth shall be full
Of the knowledge of Yahweh,
Just as the waters cover the sea.”
Isaiah points out that this future messianic king will be Davidic, with the Spirit of Yahweh, just, and live in an ideal perfect time, where all disagreements would disappear. All our problems would be solved in this idyllic perfect age to come, like the paradise that was lost. The wolf and the lamb would get along. So too, the leopard and the kid goat would be fine together. Calves, lions, and feed animals would all be as one. The cow and the bear would graze on the same field. A little child would be able to lead them, since they are so tame. Lions would eat grass and straw, just like oxen. Little nursing children would play by an asp nest or put their hands into adder’s den, and still not get hurt. No one will hurt the holy mountains. The whole earth would be filled with the knowledge of Yahweh, the Lord, just as there is the right amount of water in the seas.