Matthew 18:1-14

Talks for Growing Christians

Stumbling a Little One in the Faith is a Serious Sin

Matthew 18:1-14

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Lesson Number 47

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Stumbling little ones is a serious sin.
  2. Despising little ones is a serious sin.

Practical Application

  1. Try working with children.


  1. What do we learn about the context of this story from the parallel passages in Mark 9 and Luke 9?
  2. How did the Lord answer their question?
  3. What is the key to greatness in God’s kingdom?
  4. Who are the little ones in this passage?
  5. What does it mean to stumble a little one?
  6. What did the Lord mean in Matthew 18:8-9?


  1. The disciples were arguing about who was the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
  2. He showed them that they were asking the wrong question. They should have asked how they could humbly serve Him. Then He taught them using a little child as an illustration.
  3. Humility
  4. The little ones include both children and believers who are young in their faith.
  5. To trip them up in their spiritual walk and growth
  6. If you realize you are stumbling a little one, you must take desperate measures to stop.


  1. Discuss how the world measures greatness. The Lord measures greatness by humility and service. Read Mark 9:35. Discuss how to align your standard for greatness with God’s. How great are you in the Lord’s kingdom?
  2. We should not despise fellow believers. Each believer, no mater how young in the faith, is important to God. Even when one of them goes astray, the Lord graciously goes after him, and rejoices at his return. Do you have a tendency to judge young believers? How can you change your attitude toward them to be more in line with God’s?


  1. Is there an active children’s ministry at your local church? If so, get involved. If not, pray about starting one! Working with young believers is extremely important and rewarding!

Key Verses

  • “Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:4
  • “It is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.” Matthew 18:14

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