“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.” That is to say, it is the deliberate verdict of the Lord Jesus that it is better not to live than not to love. It is better not to live than not to love.”
—Henry Drummond (1851-1897)
Matthew 18:1-10 NLT
About that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Which of us is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?”
Jesus called a small child over to him and put the child among them. Then he said, “I assure you, unless you turn from your sins and become as little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven.
“Therefore, anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me. But if anyone causes one of these little ones who trusts in me to lose faith, it would be better for that person to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around the neck.
“How terrible it will be for anyone who causes others to sin. Temptation to do wrong is inevitable, but how terrible it will be for the person who does the tempting. So if your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better to enter heaven crippled or lame than to be thrown into the unquenchable fire with both of your hands and feet. And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better to enter heaven half blind than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell.
“Beware that you don’t despise a single one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels are always in the presence of my heavenly Father.
What does it mean to become like little children? What does it mean to be so humble? How can welcoming a little child be like welcoming Jesus?
Arrogance cuts at the heart of Christianity; love is unassuming, unpretentious, accepting another solely for who they are. Love seeks no benefit for itself. Arrogance uses and abuses, views the other in my own terms.
For nothing is worse than arrogance.
—St. John Chrysostom (347-407)
Homilies on Matthew 58.5