Do not cause children to sin (Mk 9:42-9:42)

“If any of you

Put a stumbling block

Before one

Of these little ones,

Who believe in me,

It would be better

For you

If a great millstone

Were hung

Around your neck.

It would be better

If you were thrown

Into the sea.”

 

Καὶ ὃς ἂν σκανδαλίσῃ ἕνα τῶν μικρῶν τούτων τῶν πιστευόντων, καλόν ἐστιν αὐτῷ μᾶλλον εἰ περίκειται μύλος ὀνικὸς περὶ τὸν τράχηλον αὐτοῦ καὶ βέβληται εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν.

 

This saying about causing little believing children to sin or stumble can also be found in Matthew, chapter 18:6, and Luke, chapter 17:1-2, with some minor changes.  Mark indicated that Jesus said that if anyone of them caused these little ones, who believed in him, to be scandalized or stumble on a block (Καὶ ὃς δ’ ἂν σκανδαλίσῃ ἕνα τῶν μικρῶν τούτων τῶν πιστευόντων), it would be better for them (καλόν ἐστιν αὐτῷ μᾶλλον) to fasten a great heavy millstone around their necks (εἰ περίκειται μύλος ὀνικὸς περὶ τὸν τράχηλον αὐτοῦ).  They should be thrown or cast into the deep sea (καὶ βέβληται εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν).  Causing the believing little children to sin meant it was better for that person to die in deep water with a heavy millstone around their neck.  This millstone was a stone for grinding various grains.

 

Yahweh speaks about idols (Ezek 14:4-14:5)

“Therefore speak to them!

Say to them!

‘Thus says Yahweh God!

Any of the house of Israel

Who take their idols

Into their hearts

Place their iniquity

As a stumbling block

Before them.

Yet they come

To the prophet.

I,

Yahweh,

Will answer those

Who come

With the multitude

Of their idols.

Thus I may take hold

Of the hearts

Of the house of Israel,

All of whom are estranged

From me

Through their idols.’”

Yahweh told Ezekiel to speak to these elders with their idols. He told him to say that Yahweh was not pleased that anyone from the house of Israel would seriously take their idols to their hearts. Taking these idols seriously showed their wickedness as a stumbling block. Despite that, they came to the prophet to speak to him. Yahweh, himself was going to answer these people who had multiple idols. He knew why the hearts of the people of the house of Israelite were estranged from him. These idols were the main reason why they had turned against him.