Offenses to God’s kingdom are not like other offenses.
It is interesting to think what kinds of offenses these may encompass. Without a doubt this would extend to anything which may impede someone else’s progress into the kingdom of heaven.
Jesus speaks powerfully of the sobriety we should have in consideration of causing such an offense. He says it would be better if, “a millstone were hung around your neck and you be thrown into the sea.”
It would be “better…” Think about that.
The very idea of being cast into the sea with a millstone around your neck is about as vibrant a picture as Jesus ever presents.
But who are the “little ones” Jesus speaks of?
Certainly, this would speak of any children who may be in their midst. More than once Jesus has spoken very fondly of the children. He has encouraged they be brought to Him that He may hold them and share His love for them. Jesus has such a heart for children because of the nature of their faith. They have not become jaded, and they believe what they are told by their elders – especially by those elders who are closest to them in relationship. Indeed, it is ‘childlike faith’ which saves the child of God.
But what if what the little ones are told to believe about the kingdom of heaven is accompanied by hypocrisy in you? What if they believe what they have been told to believe about the kingdom of heaven – but then begin to struggle with their faith in the kingdom of heaven or to lose their faith entirely because of what they see in you?
This is the idea Jesus is presenting. We will be held responsible for the impact our lives have on those who are just learning about these things. Anyone of any age can be one of the “little ones” Jesus refers to. Yes, children are certainly included, but so is anyone who is a new believer, or just becoming a ‘child of God.’
Mr. Religious Man, what impact does your life have upon the child of God?