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! Matthew, Chapter 18, verses 2-7.
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, Chapter 18, verse 10.
Usually, I interpret this passage to mean that we should have the faith of a little child in order to go to heaven. This time, this passage was saying to me that the people who abuse children physically, sexually and emotionally better beware because God doesn’t want anyone hurting children under any circumstances. I noticed that there are exclamation marks used in this passage a couple of times and I don’t see them used much in the Bible. I take it to mean that Jesus is emphatically telling people to beware not to harm children.
It’s so sad. The court systems are full of children who have been neglected and abused in one form or another. What’s even worse is that some of these children have been abused by their own family members who are supposed to love them and protect them from harm.
What can we do as Christians? We can make an effort to not become so desensitized to the needs of abused children because we see it so frequently in the news. We can support legislators to enact laws to make it more difficult for the court system to let out pedophiles, rapists and aggressive criminals. We can mentor a child who appears to need a little extra attention. Going to read or play games with children in the Women’s Shelters can be beneficial, because these children need someone in their corner.
We can encourage our children to include others who appear to be loners. This helps not only the isolated child, but it teaches our children to be sensitive to the needs of others instead of being “I”, “Me” focused. The list of things we could do is endless.
Here is a related passage:
*Then said He unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. Luke, Chapter 17, verses 1-2.
Because this example of how I’ve applied these Bible passages to my life only focused on a portion of the passages, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passages.