What Jesus Did! 'How Terrible!' — Matthew 18:6-7

Monday, August 21, 2017

"If one of these little children believes in me, and another person causes that child to sin, then it will be very bad for that person. It would be better for that person to have a millstone tied around his neck and be drowned in the deep sea. I feel sorry for the people in the world because of the things that make people sin. Those things must happen. But it will be very bad for the person that causes those things to happen."
— Matthew 18:6-7
Illustration of Matthew 18:6-7 — "If one of these little children believes in me, and another person causes that child to sin, then it will be very bad for that person."

Key Thought

Jesus is telling us to be sensitive to the vulnerability of others, especially those who are weak, forgotten, and neglected among us. Of course, he didn't just preach it; he lived it. Extreme measures are to be used to keep from causing one of these "little ones" to stumble and fall. For Jesus and his followers, it is a very serious and horrific matter to cause the sinful downfall of another.
His language is extreme. His warning is heartfelt. The "little ones" among us are extremely valuable to him and should be to us. It would be better to be drowned in the sea than to face Jesus having caused another to fall. Jesus cares deeply about the lost and died to redeem us. He surely doesn't want us contributing to others' losing their way.

Today's Prayer

Father, use me redemptively to help bring others back to you and to be careful about my influence. I don't want to lead others astray by my actions or by my teaching. Give me an undivided heart, a clear witness reflecting your character, and a deeper concern for those my actions may impact. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

At that time the followers came to Jesus and asked, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" Jesus called a little child to come to him. Jesus stood the child before the followers. Then Jesus said, "I tell you the truth. You must change and become like little children {in your hearts}. If you don't do this, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. The greatest (most important) person in the kingdom of heaven is the person that makes himself humble like this child. "If a person accepts a little child like this in my name, then that person accepts me. "If one of these little children believes in me, and another person causes that child to sin, then it will be very bad for that person. It would be better for that person to have a millstone tied around his neck and be drowned in the deep sea. I feel sorry for the people in the world because of the things that make people sin. Those things must happen. But it will be very bad for the person that causes those things to happen. "If your hand or your foot makes you sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose part of your body but have life forever. That is much better than to have two hands and two feet but be thrown into the fire (hell) that burns forever. If your eye makes you sin, take it out and throw it away. It is better for you to have only one eye but have life forever. That is much better than to have two eyes but be thrown into the fire of hell. "Be careful. Don't think these little children are worth nothing. I tell you that these children have angels in heaven. And those angels are always with my Father in heaven. "If a man has 100 sheep, but one of the sheep becomes lost, then the man will leave the other 99 sheep on the hill. He will go to look for the lost sheep. Right? And if the man finds the lost sheep, the man is happier about that one sheep than about the 99 sheep that were never lost. I tell you the truth. In the same way, your Father in heaven does not want any of theselittle children to be lost.

Matthew 18:1-14

Related Scripture Readings

So we should stop judging each other. We must decide not to do anything that will make a brother or sister weak or fall into sin. I am in the Lord Jesus. And I know that there is no food that is wrong to eat. But if a person believes that something is wrong, then that thing is wrong for him. If you hurt your brother's faith because of something you eat, then you are not really following the way of love. Don't destroy a person's faith by eating something {that he thinks is wrong}. Christ died for that person. So let us try as hard as we can to do the things that make peace. And let us try to do the things that will help each other. Don't let the eating of food destroy the work of God. All food is right to eat. But it is wrong for a person to eat something that makes another person fall into sin. It is better not to eat meat or drink wine if that makes your brother or sister fall into sin. It is better not to do anything that will make your brother or sister sin.

Romans 14:13-15, 19-21

But be careful with your freedom. Your freedom to eat anything may make those people who have doubts about what they can eat fall into sin.

1 Corinthians 8:9

"The weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire. It will be the same at the end of the world. The Son of Man will send his angels, and his angels will find the people that cause sin and all people that do evil. The angels will take those people out of his kingdom. The angels will throw those people into the place of fire. In that place the people will be crying and grinding their teeth {with pain}.

Matthew 13:40-42

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.