Matthew 18:6-14 Little Ones Are Saved.
“Little ones” is a literal translation in the NKJV of ‘mikron’, and causing to sin or stumble is ‘skandalise’ from which we get scandalous (v. 6 Cf. Mk. 9:42ff.). Sadly, in our present pagan culture the word scandalous is nearly synonymous with ‘cool’. Note also that these little ones are those who believe in Jesus. These are not generic little ones, so to speak. As long as we live in a fallen world “offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!” (v. 7) Judas comes to mind (Cf. 26:24; 27:3-10). Jesus uses hyperbole when he suggests that it is better to cut off a hand or foot, or to pluck out an eye, then to be cast into eternal hell fire (vv. 8-9). The point being that it is better to suffer physical loss than the loss of one’s soul and body in hell where the fire of judgment is not quenched.
It is equally important that individuals or the church not ‘despise’ (or “look down on”) these little ones (v. 10). He has angels assigned to each of his elect ones, those who believe in him. The fact that these angels continually see the face of the Father undergirds the immediacy and severity of that which they witness (Cf. Heb. 1:14). One might think that they are alone with one of these little ones, or that one can reject them, but this is far from the case. These little ones are as lost as any adult, and there are some of these little ones who are predestined to believe. The Son of Man came to save these as well (v. 11). The desire of the Father to save these lost little ones is likened unto a shepherd who will leave 99 of 100 sheep in order to seek the one that is lost (vv. 12-14 Cf. Lk. 15:4-7; I Tim. 2:4).