By Grant Phillips
Matthew 18: “1 At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?
2 And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,
3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
5 And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.
6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”
There are two opinions on these verses. Some believe that Jesus is speaking of new Christians or those, regardless of age, who are interested in knowing Him. Others believe that Jesus is speaking of little children. I have no problem with either, but in this case, will address that Jesus is speaking of little children.
I read this passage of Scripture and think of some of the home environments and atrocities that so many children face, and it saddens me. In my previous occupation I have been knowledgeable of many very sad home situations that children have had to endure. Knowing some of these situations from an occupational standpoint makes me wonder how some children just survive. Many do not.
It is obvious to me that Jesus has a tender spot, if I may use that terminology, for children. Who doesn’t? Well, if you read the newspapers, or watch the news you know that there are many cold hearted monsters that could care less about other people, even children. They are only interested in their own sick gratification.
I prefer not to mention many of the nauseating details. I’m sure we are all acquainted with them, especially if you happen to be a social worker or policeman. Those in other occupations also have to deal with these problems and it has to be heart wrenching.
My simple point is I believe with all my being that Jesus will administer special judgment upon those who harm these little ones.
Can this type of person be forgiven and receive salvation? Yes. All can be forgiven, but only by coming to Jesus Christ in true repentance and believing upon Him for salvation. Otherwise, Jesus is very clear about how He feels about this.
Millstones are round stones that people formerly used to grind wheat or other grains. They could weigh as much as five tons or more. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe one would sink to the bottom of the depths of the sea quite rapidly if thrown in with a millstone around one’s neck.
Now I can just hear the “bleeding-hearts” of today gasping at doing such a thing to some poor soul, but Jesus didn’t seem to have a problem with it. While they’re walking up and down the sidewalk carrying signs, somebody is sinking to the bottom of the sea like a torpedo after a submarine.
What makes a child so special? It’s their innocence and complete trust. Anyone who would destroy that is a monster. This is why Jesus said, “Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” True humility is seen in a child. They haven’t yet been tainted with the dark side of the world.
This is how Jesus wants all of us to come to Him; i.e. as a little child. Even if the world’s atrocities have affected your thinking, come to Jesus with complete trust that this time you will not be disappointed.
Jesus is our Creator. He is our Savior if we call upon Him. He is our Lord if we follow Him. He is our Bridegroom. He is our God. His own sacrifice upon the cross for us is the proof of His love for us. Trust Him.