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Jesus said; These little ones who believe in me

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posted on Apr, 8 2016 @ 05:00 PM
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“Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better to have a great millstone tied round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea”. Matthew ch18 vv5-6

This is a statement about two different kinds of behaviour, and their results.

First, “receiving such a child in my name”.
What does this mean?
In the previous verses, a child had been brought onto the scene, as an example and a role-model for the disciples.
They were told that if they wanted to enter the kingdom of heaven, they needed to become like children themselves.
In other words, they should be approaching their God in trusting obedience.

But when Jesus speaks the words quoted above, is he still talking about literal children?
And what is meant by “receiving in my name”.

We can understand these words better by comparing them with remarks made elsewhere in the gospels.
When Jesus is sending his disciples out around the country to teach and preach, he says to them;
“He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives him who sent me” (ch10 v40).
A moment later, he gives an example of what he means by “receiving”;
“And whoever gives to one of these little ones even a cup of water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he shall not lose his reward” (ch10 v42).
And in Mark’s version, this is “Whoever gives you a cup of water to drink” (Mark ch9 v41).

So the “children” or the “little ones” are the disciples, all those who follow Jesus.
So called because of their trusting faith, as recommended in vv1-4.
And “receiving” or “not receiving” these children “in my name” is about the way that people treat the disciples of Jesus.
Jesus will recognise their treatment of his disciples as the sign of treating himself in the same
way.
Where it is appropriate, these people will “receive their reward”.
(Just as, in the parable of the sheep and the goats, the sheep are commended for their treatment of “these my brethren”, which may mean the same thing.)

The alternative action is “causing one of these little ones to sin”.
We’ve already established, by comparison with ch10, that “these little ones” are not literal children but trusting, childlike disciples.

What is meant by “causing them to sin”?
That is the wording of the RSV, which is my standard quoting Bible.
But I’m not sure that “cause to sin” is the best translation here.
The Greek word is SKANDALISE, which really means “make someone stumble”.
The AV translates it as “offend”, in this verse and elsewhere.
Thus the Pharisees “were offended” by the declaration that a man is not defiled by what enters his mouth (ch15 v12).
The same word is used about the seed that falls upon stony ground (ch13 v21). This represents people who have no deep-rooted faith, so that when tribulation arises they are “offended” (in the AV), or they “fall away” (in more modern versions).

So a man “is made to stumble”, when something happens which undermines his faith.
In fact the English language has adopted the word with much the same meaning. When people are “scandalised”, the implication is that they have lost faith in, or lost respect for, the person involved in the scandal.

In this case, the people affected are “these little ones who believe in me”.
So “causing them to stumble” will surely mean “causing them to CEASE believing in me”.

Thus Jesus defines his followers as those who trust him as the one sent from God, and he takes them under his protection.
Anyone who undermines the faith of a believer, “making him stumble”, will not have a millstone tied around his neck before being thrown into the sea.
But Jesus says the guilty party would have found that preferable.
Anything to escape the wrath of God against those who undermine his work.

The faith of believers can be undermined accidentally, as the side-effect of misconduct, when they are “scandalised” in the sense of the English word; “I’m not going to belong to a church if that’s how the leaders behave”.
But there are people in modern society (and even on this forum) who seem to have the conscious purpose of undermining the faith of believers and bringing themselves within the scope of the warning which Jesus gives.
Perhaps it should be brought to their attention.




posted on Apr, 8 2016 @ 05:07 PM
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The worry I actually have about typing my beliefs in faith. I don't want to get it wrong.



posted on Apr, 8 2016 @ 05:08 PM
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I'm sorry no man named Jesus ever existed, certainly not with that name , certainly NOT in the eastern Mediterranean in 30 bc.

I believe in God, but not an eastern Roman make believe archetype of the mysteries



posted on Apr, 8 2016 @ 05:10 PM
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a reply to: BlueJacket

Maybe in the last few centuries, but never in the middle east



posted on Apr, 8 2016 @ 05:12 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko
At least you won't be getting it deliberately wrong. If we speak in good faith to the extent of our knowledge, we can do no more.



posted on Apr, 8 2016 @ 05:13 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI


But there are people in modern society (and even on this forum) who seem to have the conscious purpose of undermining the faith of believers and bringing themselves within the scope of the warning which Jesus gives.
Perhaps it should be brought to their attention.

Yah, don't ever question authority. The first lesson taught to children in Sunday school… believe or else you'll go to hell.

Lets reset the clock to the middle ages, bring back the inquisition, burn people alive for disbelieving…



posted on Apr, 8 2016 @ 05:16 PM
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Yah, don't ever question authority. The first lesson taught to children in Sunday school… believe or else you'll go to hell.

edit on 4/8/2016 by Blaine91555 because: Snipped attempt to spam site.



posted on Apr, 8 2016 @ 05:16 PM
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a reply to: intrptr
The only penalty threatened in that verse is the retribution imposed by God directly.
I haven't suggested anything else.



posted on Apr, 8 2016 @ 05:17 PM
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originally posted by: DISRAELI
a reply to: intrptr
The only penalty threatened in that verse is the retribution imposed by God directly.
I haven't suggested anything else.

What 'penalty'?



posted on Apr, 8 2016 @ 05:19 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko

Yeah ..I don't worry about speaking truth as I know it, neither should you



posted on Apr, 8 2016 @ 05:21 PM
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a reply to: intrptr
Something which would be less welcome than having a millstone tied around one's neck and being thrown into the sea.
That's all we know.
This was quoted at the beginning of the OP, and mentioned again at the end.



posted on Apr, 8 2016 @ 05:26 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

You can't refer to the Bible as fact. I'm no atheist, but believers....are no more than guessing.

I have had more or as inspired relations with God head by an exercise in willpower than most modern Christians I've met utilizing the faith cop out



posted on Apr, 8 2016 @ 05:26 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

Notice he said " but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me"

Which i agree with.... yet this does not equate to belief in "the entire bible" as the word of God...




posted on Apr, 8 2016 @ 05:29 PM
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a reply to: Akragon
Fortunately this thread is not attempting to prove belief in the entire Bible as the word of God.
"Belief in me" - trusting the person of Jesus- is all I need for the moment.



posted on Apr, 8 2016 @ 05:31 PM
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a reply to: BlueJacket
I won't be responding to your interventions because they don't relate to the topic of the thread.



posted on Apr, 8 2016 @ 05:34 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

"Something less welcome" than drowning, as in Hell?

Come on, admit it.



posted on Apr, 8 2016 @ 05:40 PM
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a reply to: intrptr
That would be saying more than we find in the text.
We are not told anything specific- just that it would be less preferable.
I'm not entitled to import into the text all the overtones which go with the word "Hell". I confine myself to what it says.



posted on Apr, 8 2016 @ 05:42 PM
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originally posted by: intrptr

The first lesson taught to children in Sunday school… believe or else you'll go to hell.

What a horrific church you must have attended. The first thing I learned was the Golden Rule.




posted on Apr, 8 2016 @ 05:46 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

Thank you Disreali your threads are appreciated and educational, I like your interpretations far better than some other's as well.



posted on Apr, 8 2016 @ 06:44 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI


That would be saying more than we find in the text.

You do that all the time. That 'text' was written by men. The real path is a spiritual one through the conduit of our soul. Everyone has one of those. Those who have lost that way refer to 'texts', others interpretations . The thing is to find how they found to write that stuff down.

How they found to live a true life, free from guilt and negative behavior. Children are closer to that way, having just come from there. Their minds aren't corrupted yet by the worldly dogma of men. Thats why Jesus said, suffer the children to come to me. He was reflecting how much easier it is to teach children than 'adults'.




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