"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." Matthew 18:6
It would be difficult to imagine a more effective
and foolproof method of drowning than this. The millstone here was not
the small one that was operated by hand, but the great one that was
turned by an ass. To have a millstone like that secured around one's
neck would mean speedy and inescapable drowning.
At first we might be startled by the vehemence of
the Savior's words. He seems to thunder out with unusual condemnation
against the sin of offending a little one. What is it that provokes
Let us take an illustration! Here is a minister
of the Gospel who has a constant line of people coming to him for
counseling. Among them is a young person who is enslaved by some sexual
sin. This young person needs help-desperately. He (or she) looks to the
minister as one in whom he can have confidence, as one who will help
him find the way of deliverance. But instead of that, the minister
finds himself inflamed with passion, he makes improper advances, and
soon he has led his counselee back into immorality. The young person is
shattered by this betrayal of trust and is thoroughly disillusioned by
the religious world. It may be that he is crippled spiritually for the
rest of his life.
Or the offender may be a college professor who
labors tirelessly to rob his students of whatever faith they may have.
By sowing doubts and denials, he undermines the authority of the
Scriptures and attacks the Person of our Lord.
Again it may be a Christian whose behavior
stumbles a young believer. Overstepping the fine line between liberty
and license, he is seen engaging in some questionable activity. The
young Christian interprets his behavior as acceptable Christian conduct
and leaves the path of godly separation to plunge into a life of
worldliness and compromise.
the Savior that it is a tremendously serious thing to contribute to the
ethical, moral or spiritual delinquency of a minor who belongs to Him.
Better to drown in literal water than to drown in a sea of guilt,
disgrace and remorse for causing one of His little ones to fall into