Matthew 18:5-14 Don’t Despise The Little Ones

by | Nov 17, 2023 | Matthew, New Testament

I. Receive Little Children 18:5

A. What Does It Mean To Receive?

1. To receive or grant access to, to not to refuse friendship
2. To receive into one’s family
3. To receive favorably, give ear to, embrace, make one’s own, approve, not to reject

B. “In My Name”

1. The idea of “in my name” speaks a little child who has faith in Jesus
2. Verse 6 clarifies what “in my name” means: little children who believe in Jesus
3. The passage doesn’t allow for mistreatment of those little children who don’t come “in His name” or don’t have faith in Jesus
4. We are to love all people, and all children, but this is a specific teaching about how we relate to those who believe in Jesus, regardless of who or what they are

C. To Receive Little Children Is To Receive Jesus

1. Jesus is inextricably linked to every one of His saints regardless of age, social standing, gender, or any other thing
2. Jesus indwells every one of His saints
3. Turn to Matthew 25:31-46
4. Turn to Acts 9:4, 5 4Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” 5And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.
5. To persecute or bless one of the least of the saints is to persecute or bless Jesus
6. If we would truly believe this, it would revolutionize our lives, families, churches

a. Christian spouses would truly love one another
b. Christian parents would truly love their Christian children & vice versa
c. There would be more phileo and agape love among believers

II. Don’t Offend Little Ones 18:5, 6

A. God’s View Of Offenders Of “Little Ones”

1. Jesus changes the word(s) from children (paidion) to little ones (mikros)
2. Instead of strictly talking about children, He uses the word mikros

a. mikros- little in size or influence

3. Jesus previously said that even adults must become like mikros
4. This was as opposed to the disciples’ grandiose & self exalting attitudes which they had about themselves

B. Sin, Offenses, And Offenses

1. Verse 6: Sin- skandalizo {skan-dal-id’-zo} (“scandalize”)

a. To put a stumbling block or impediment which will cause one to trip/fall
b. To entice to sin, to cause to fall away
c. To cause a person to begin to distrust & desert one whom he ought to trust & obey
d. One who stumbles or whose foot gets entangled, feels annoyed, resulting in them having displeasure at a thing; to make indignant (at Jesus)

2. Verse 7- offenses- skandalon (“scandal”)

a. The movable stick or trigger of a trap, a trap stick
b. Woe because traps, stumbling blocks, enticements to sin will come
c. Rather, woe to the man who brings them, especially to children & mikros

3. It would be better to be drowned rather than purposely causing a little one to stumble and potentially fall away from Jesus, or become indignant with Jesus.
4. This should be posted in every school, at every child’s event, and in every home

C. How To Avoid Offending 18:8, 9

1. Separate From Whatever/Whomever Makes You Liable To Offend

a. Jesus speaks figuratively: a hand doesn’t bring offense, a sinful heart does
b. Guzik- There are significant problems in taking these words as literal instruction instead of conveying an attitude. The problem is not only from the obvious physical harm that one might bring upon themselves, but more so in the problem that bodily mutilation does not go far enough in controlling sin. We need to be transformed from the inside out.
c. Do you have friends, influences that encourage you to offend little ones?
d. Cut them out of your life

2. Recognize What’s Important 18:8, 9

a. Is a friend, a relationship, a job, approval worth going to Hell over?
b. Isn’t it better to enter Heaven w/o those things, than Hell with them?
c. “Hand/Eye”- the cost of avoiding skandalizo may be high, but worth it

3. Have A Right Attitude With Little Ones 18:10

a. Despise- to condemn, despise, disdain, think little or nothing of
b. Because Of Their Angels- Heaven looks on as you stumble the little ones
c. Because Jesus Came To Save Them 18:11

i. Save- to save, keep safe, to rescue from danger/destruction
ii. To save from the wrath of God’s judgment

d. Parable of the Shepherd & The Lost Sheep 18:12-14

i. Astray- To go astray, wander, roam about
To lead away from the truth, to lead into error, to deceive
ii. If a mikros goes astray (a child or insignificant one, one of little influence, unimportant one), we may be inclined to think them not worth the effort to go after to save and restore
iii. We may view mikros as expendable, unimportant, not worth much
iv. That is not the heart of Jesus at all; He goes looking for every one
v. Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
vi. God rejoices when an insignificant one is saved or brought back

4. Realize That You Are Or Have Been Mikros

a. Before Jesus, Satan put a stumbling block & trap before us, seeking to make us indignant with Jesus, not desiring Him
b. We once were lost…do not mislead/ despise/ stumble any mikros
c. If you have despised/stumbled little ones: repent and ask forgiveness
d. If you are still away from Jesus, He seeks you to save you