“Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.” – Matthew 18:10
In Jewish tradition it is written that before the flood came to cleanse the earth of all the evil that had been brought upon it by the influence of the fallen angels, these fallen ones asked Enoch (whom scripture records as being a man who “walked with God”) to go to God on their behalf and beg for mercy that they not be punished. To which, Jewish history and tradition records God’s response as being thus, “Angels were created to intercede for man, not for man to intercede for Angels.”
Of course we take all writings apart from the Holy Scripture with a grain of salt, however the concept of angels interceding on our behalf is echoed in this, our opening passage. And who exactly is this that warrants such great laboring intercession that their angels faces are continuously before God on their behalf? At first glance it would appear that this passage is talking about children. In fact it is a continued thought from a previous passage of which we are all familiar that states:
“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
These passages are commonly quoted to express God’s great love for children and His severity in dealing with those who dare to harm them. While this does apply, seeing as how God does indeed cherish the little children, these passages are not actually talking about kids. Not in the physical since anyway. If we backtrack a bit more and read the full passage as one thought (as it was delivered), we began to see that Jesus was actually talking about His Spiritual Children, His great jealousy over them, and His severity in judgment to those who would offend them in the faith when they are still babes in Christ and drive them from His arms. In other words. When He says that it is better for you to go drown yourself, He is saying that you would face a better fate then those who cause His little ones (young Christians) to stumble from their faith.
It is better to cut off a member of your own body if it is causing offends, then to allow the whole body to go to hell. The church is the body of Christ, yet I have seen members that truly needed to be cut off. Namely those who, out of pride, arrogance, selfish agendas, or self righteousness, have offended new born babes in Christ and caused them to stumble right out of Jesus’s lap before He has had a chance to teach them what these members are condemning them for not knowing. To you, these harsh words of Christ are written, that it would be better to tie a huge grinding stone about your neck and be cast into the depths of the sea. For He would rather you be cut off from the body all together then to allow you to drag the whole body to hell with you.
“At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, 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. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. 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. Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh! Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire. Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven. For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost. How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.” – Matthew 18:1-14
God has compassion on the spiritually young and unlearned, He calls us to instruct them, teach them, nourish them, encourage them in the ways of righteousness, speaking truth in love, and when they go astray to seek after them with broken desperation and determination. Remembering the commission by which we have all been called. The church is not a social club, it’s a hospital for the sick, a home for the homeless, a refuge for the broken, and an encampment for the soldier of God in the midst of enemy territory. There’s a war on people. It’s not about you. It’s about saving others. Stop making it about you, your getting people killed and making yourself the enemy of God.
“If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?” – 1 John 4:20
“Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you. A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” – John 13:33-34