Matthew 18:5-15, July 26, 2020
These Little Ones – Believers
“Children do not try to be humble, but they are so; and the same is the case with really gracious persons. The imitation of humility is sickening; the reality is attractive.” (Spurgeon)
18:4. It is in verse 4 Jesus directly answers the question of the disciples, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? Let’s read v4 again. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Philippians 2:6-8 [Jesus] Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to His own advantage; rather, He made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!
Children are an example of humility, meekness, and trust. In fact we have to teach them not to trust strangers. But we have a mind-set of trust, real trust. God I trust you, I really do! A willingness to trust no matter the situation.
18:5 In His Name. All too often we forget we are welcomed in His name that we become His ambassadors. Look at 2 Corinthians 5:17-21
and we are His ambassadors no matter our circumstances Ephesians 6:19-20
Jesus is with us no matter what we are going through. This applies to v5 and to v6-7: What did Jesus say when He confronted Saul on his way to Damascus? It was personal, family, those devoted to. Look at Acts 9:3-5
18:6-7 Stumble and Woe. Stumble equals sin. Look closely at what Jesus says here. He has a long memory and will remember anyone who has caused His people, His little ones, us … to stumble, to sin, to be led astray. How long is His memory
He is telling us here, in Acts (with Saul) and in Revelation how much he is willing to do to protect us. Note: do not get ahead of God/Jesus – Vengeance is mine says the Lord.
18:8-9 Jesus is using great exaggeration here. Why? Because it is always a matter of the heart. Even in the Old Testament when it spoke of circumcision, it was circumcision of the heart that was really desired. Look at these two examples from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament
It is our heart we must be concerned with. Our hands, our feet, our eyes cannot cause us to sin, but our hearts – our hearts can cause us to sin.
18:10 Despise us, why? Likely because the character traits we have taken on, learning are not those of the world.
Humility, meekness, and trust are not the values of this world. Last week we looked at verses 1-4 which are values Not Of This World and Hebrews 1:14 tells us Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?
God’s angels are watching over us, protecting us, especially protecting our hearts and souls. As does the Holy Spirit.
18:11 For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost (NASB). This verse is not in the NIV but the words are much like those found in Luke 19:10 and here function as a conclusion to verse 10 and as an introduction to verses 12-14. The Pulpit Commentary tells us We may consider the verse as genuine, and take it as the commencement of the second argument for the dignity of the little ones – the simple and humble, whether children or others. And further How can ye despise those whom Christ hath so loved and deemed so precious that he emptied himself of his glory and became man in order to save them? Save us!
18:12-14 Sheep, believers. Here I found a quote from Spurgeon in Guzik’s commentary to be very applicable to us and how we are to look at those who stray from the truth. In these verses Jesus emphasized the love and care we should have for all in the Christian community. “The first temptation is to despise one, because only one; the next is to despise one, because that one is so little; the next, and perhaps the most dangerous, form of the temptation, is to despise one, because that one has gone astray.”
Bottom Line: God’s love for us, His little children jumps out at us throughout all of these verses.
– His love for us as individuals, even when we stray
– His incredibly patient love no matter how lost we might be
– His love is a seeking love, He didn’t wait for the lost sheep to return
– His love is a rejoicing love REJOICING !!!
If you don’t know the Lord, if you are not one of His little ones, you can become one. He is waiting on you to make such a decision. He loves you.