The Danger of Defiling the Little Ones
Today’s reading: Numbers 30-31; Mark 9:30-50
42 “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. Mark 9:42
1The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Avenge the people of Israel on the Midianites. Afterward you shall be gathered to your people.” 3 So Moses spoke to the people, saying, “Arm men from among you for the war, that they may go against Midian to execute the Lord’s vengeance on Midian. Numbers 31:1-3
The disciples were beginning to jockey for positions of leadership and wanted to curtail any would-be competitors that they had not sanctioned. In a forceful statement, Jesus warned them of the danger of defiling little ones who believe in Him. My study Bible notes explain that little ones may refer to children or to those who are “insignificant believers.” So the warning has broad application. Beware of causing others to sin who look up to you either because of your age or your standing in the church.
God’s final assignment to Moses was to bring judgment on the Midianites for the way they had seduced the Israelites into sin. Indeed, as we saw in our March 1 reading, the Israelites paid a severe price for their foolish sin, but now God sends Moses to repay their tempters for causing His people to sin.
Who are the little ones in your life? Are they children? Are they just so-called insignificant believers? Beware that they are held in high esteem by God who gave His Son for their salvation. Treat them all as children of the King, for, as believers, that is what they are. If you have failed in this regard, repent of all known sin, confess to God and those offended and seek the Lord’s grace and forgiveness through Christ.