Who Are The “Little Ones” That Jesus' Spoke Of?
“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
I've heard several people on the internet, in sermons and on talk radio quote Jesus' warning about harming one of these “little ones,” applying it to children. Certainly, God must have a special anger reserved for anyone who would harm a little child. However, the Scriptures are not referring to children. Jesus called out to a small child and set the child in the midst of the group. Jesus taught that unless a person becomes humble as a child, submitting to obey the Gospel, they cannot enter into Heaven.
Jesus likened the child to a person who becomes humble, small in their own eyes, receiving Jesus Christ as their Savior. When you think about it, salvation is an act of humility. You must realize that you are sinful and cannot save yourself. You must believe upon Jesus Christ—that He died, was buried and rose from the dead for your sins. This is the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Faith in Jesus is not the plan of salvation. The cross MUST be included! The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ must be included or there can be NO salvation. Eternal life is the gift of God, totally free and without works of self-righteousness (Romans 4:5-6; 6:23).
The phrase “little ones” in Matthew 18:6 is the Greek word mikros mikroteros and means small in size. This is not a reference to a child; but moreover, refers to those who “humble himself as this little child.” ...
Matthew 18:1-6, “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.”
The “little ones” are born-again Christians. If you are a child of God, then you are one of God's little ones. You are God's property and His Holy Spirit lives within you (Romans 8:9).
And again we read in Matthew 10:41-42 concerning the phrase “little ones” ...
Matthew 10:41-42, “He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward. And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.”
Here you see that children are not mentioned at all, and that the phrase “little ones” clearly refers by context to Christians. I am not diminishing the evil of harming children, God forbid. Rather, I am emphasizing the evil of harming a Christian. Anyone who lifts a finger against a child of God is messing with God.
The Bible plainly teaches that you'd better not do anything to offend a believer that belongs to Christ. The Bible warns in Matthew 18:6 that it would be better if you had never been born at all. It would be better you you to be cast to the bottom of the ocean with an anvil chained around your neck. God will do worse to you. The Scripture cannot be broken (John 10:35). The Word of God will stand, It will come to pass, It will be carried out faithfully! I would not go against the Scriptures my friend, unless you desire to suffer a horrifying fate.
There is no one in this universe any more loving, generous, forgiving, merciful and just than God. But be forewarned whoever you may be, that God is also the most horrifying, frightening, no nonsense, strict, rough and tough Judge you'll ever have known. God will not go against His written Word. The Scriptures are set in stone. If you try to do things your own way, you will be horrified on judgment day (Matthew 7:21-23; Proverbs 14:12; 16:25). Most people today live according to their own warped, immoral and wrong understanding of things. The Bible is the only Book that we should live by. Psalms 119:105, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”
Whoever you may be, consider yourself warned. The Jews are not the little ones. In fact, most Jews today are sinfully arrogant and defiant against God. Most Jews are going to spend eternity in Hell. Yes, the Jews are God's people, but that doesn't mean they are God's children. Galatians 3:26 proclaims that only by faith in Jesus Christ are we the children of God. Abraham is the spiritual father of every believer, because God is our heavenly Father. The Jews are not the little ones, Christians are the little ones which Christ spoke of. An unsaved Jew has no Biblical right nor claim to the promises of God. Only by faith in Christ Jesus are we made heirs according to the promises of God (Galatians 3:26-29).