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Matthew 18:6-7 meaning...

These verses from the Gospel of Matthew contain a solemn warning from Jesus about causing harm or leading others astray, especially those who are vulnerable in their faith. 

  • Warning Against Causing Stumbling Blocks

Jesus begins with a strong and vivid image to convey the seriousness of leading others astray, particularly those with childlike faith:

Causing Little Ones to Stumble: "Little ones" here refers not only to children but also to those who are young or new in their faith. Causing them to stumble implies leading them into sin or causing them to lose their faith.

Drastic Consequences: The imagery of a huge millstone being hung around one's neck and being sunk in the depths of the sea portrays the severity of the consequences. It's a powerful illustration of the weight of responsibility for influencing others negatively.

  • Woe to the World because of Occasions of Stumbling

Following the warning, Jesus expresses a lament for the existence of stumbling blocks in the world:

Inevitability of Occasions of Stumbling: Jesus acknowledges that occasions of stumbling will come. In a fallen world, where sin and temptation exist, people will encounter challenges to their faith.

Woe to the Causer: Despite the inevitability of stumbling blocks, Jesus issues a strong warning ("woe") to those who become the source of such stumbling. The responsibility is placed on individuals not to contribute to the spiritual downfall of others.

Significance for Believers Today

Protecting the Vulnerable: The emphasis on not causing little ones to stumble underscores the responsibility of mature believers to protect and nurture those who are new in their faith. It encourages a culture of support and encouragement within the Christian community.

Awareness of Influence: Believers are reminded to be conscious of their influence on others. Whether through actions, words, or lifestyles, there is a call to ensure that one's influence aligns with the teachings of Christ and does not lead others away from the faith.

Compassion for the Weak: Recognizing the vulnerability of those who may be prone to stumbling, believers are called to approach others with compassion, understanding, and a desire to build up rather than tear down.


1 Corinthians 8:9: "But be careful that this liberty of yours doesn’t somehow become a stumbling block to the weak." Paul addresses the concept of not causing others to stumble by being mindful of one's actions, particularly in matters of conscience.

Romans 14:13: "Therefore let’s not judge one another any more, but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block in his brother’s way or an occasion for falling." This verse reinforces the idea of refraining from actions that could cause others to stumble.

Conclusion: Matthew 18:6-7 delivers a solemn warning about the gravity of influencing others negatively, especially those who are vulnerable in their faith. It challenges believers to be vigilant in their conduct, recognizing the weight of responsibility that comes with being a follower of Christ. As we navigate our spiritual journeys, may we approach others with love, protect the vulnerable, and strive to be sources of encouragement rather than stumbling blocks.

See also: vs 1-4& 10-11

Matthew 18:6-7. Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to stumble, it would be better for him that a huge millstone should be hung around his neck, and that he should be sunk in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of occasions of stumbling! For it must be that the occasions come, but woe to that person through whom the occasion comes!


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