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 NLT
Illustration of Matthew 18:6-7 NLT — "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.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Romans 14:13-15, 19-21
  • 1 Corinthians 8:9
  • Matthew 13:40-42


About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.