Causing little ones to sin (Matt 18.6)

Text: Matthew 18

Memorize: “But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a huge millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the open sea.” Matthew 18:6 NET

Eternal life matters more than any other thing in this life (verse 8). Whoever causes another, more spiritually fragile and weaker in faith, to lose eternal life will be held responsible and will suffer dire consequences.

It is possible to make someone sin by arrogance (verses 1-5) and, in a way, by omission (verses 10-14) that fails to confront and admonish (verses 15-17).

Word Cue: Little ones (Gr., mikros). The term “the small” is used disparagingly in the Rabbis (the immature, those who are not yet great and old). “Great” has a particular glory in the Greek and Hellenistic world, and the small is usually disdained (at best it is only a means and way for the great). The saying about “little ones” on the lips of Jesus seems to point paradoxically to a secret, a concealed inner or future dignity. (adapted from and following closely TDNT IV: 652)

Prayer: God of all greatness, thank you for exalting the humble, for making great the small, for caring for those who forget to care for themselves. Amen.

Action Question: How can I become one of Jesus’ little ones?


J. Randal Matheny

Be pithy.

1 thought on “Causing little ones to sin (Matt 18.6)

  1. Oh the preciousness of simplicity. My son recently did his first Bible reading in front of the entire congregation. He was scared. He was nervous. He wanted to do it right. His mind wasn’t on being great. Wasn’t on making a name for himself. He just wanted to do it right. Honest intentions from a caring heart work greatly to humble each one of us.

    Good words Randal!

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