The Parables of Luke 14-17, Part 9 – Offending One of These Little Ones

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The Parables of Luke 14-17 Part 9 –  Offending One of These Little Ones

[Study Aired April 14, 2020]

Luk 17:1 Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come!
Luk 17:2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. 
Luk 17:3 Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.
Luk 17:4 And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.

This phrase “offend one of these little ones” is also used in Mark and Matthew.

Mar 9:42 And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea. 

Mat 18:1 At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?
Mat 18:2 And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,
Mat 18:3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Mat 18:4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Mat 18:5 And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.
Mat 18:6 But 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.

Using the sum of God’s word we can see the complete statement Christ is making in Luke 17:2.

Psa 119:160 The sum of Thy word is truth, And to the age is every judgment of Thy righteousness! (YLT)

Luk 17:1 Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come!
Luk 17:2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.

Mar 9:42 And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.

Mat 18:9 But 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.

The phrase “offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea” is used three times by Christ, telling us this is a process of judgment. The little ones which are offended are those that “believe in me (Christ)”. The offenders, our old man and those yet to be saved, are those that do not believe in Christ, especially those who claim His name but do not the things that He says.

Mat 18:9 But 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.

Luk 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

Joh 12:36 While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.
Joh 12:37 But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him:
Joh 12:38 That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?
Joh 12:39 Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again,
Joh 12:40 He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.
Joh 12:41 These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him.
Joh 12:42 Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:
Joh 12:43 For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. 

Our old man, and the whole world, loves the praise of men more than the praise of God. These are the offenders, and God is causing them to not believe at this time.

What is the meaning of “it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea”, and why is it better?

It is better because this is what we all must experience in order to be saved. The “millstone hanged about his neck” represents the heavy burdens of this world.

Isa 30:27 Behold, the name of the LORD cometh from far, burning with his anger, and the burden thereof is heavy: his lips are full of indignation, and his tongue as a devouring fire:
Isa 30:28 And his breath, as an overflowing stream, shall reach to the midst of the neck, to sift the nations with the sieve of vanity: and there shall be a bridle in the jaws of the people, causing them to err.

Isa 46:1 Bel boweth down, Nebo stoopeth, their idols were upon the beasts, and upon the cattle: your carriages were heavy loaden; they are a burden to the weary beast.
Isa 46:2 They stoop, they bow down together; they could not deliver the burden, but themselves are gone into captivity.
Isa 46:3 Hearken unto me, O house of Jacob, and all the remnant of the house of Israel, which are borne by me from the belly, which are carried from the womb:
Isa 46:4 And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.

Psa 38:1 A Psalm of David, to bring to remembrance. O LORD, rebuke me not in thy wrath: neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.
Psa 38:2 For thine arrows stick fast in me, and thy hand presseth me sore.
Psa 38:3 There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin.
Psa 38:4 For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me.

These burdens are the beginnings of our salvation. The Lord’s salvation is mentioned in the same books mentioned above.

Isa 25:8 He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it.

Isa 46:13 I bring near my righteousness; it shall not be far off, and my salvation shall not tarry: and I will place salvation in Zion for Israel my glory.

Psa 38:21 Forsake me not, O LORD: O my God, be not far from me.
Psa 38:22 Make haste to help me, O Lord my salvation.

What is being drowned in the scriptures? Here are a few verses showing how drowned is used. This word is not the same Greek word being used in Luke 17, but it is synonymous.

Heb 11:29 By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.

Exo 14:4 Pharaoh’s chariots and his host hath he cast into the sea: his chosen captains also are drowned in the Red sea.

As we know, Egyptians represent the world, and Babylon, the churches of the world and especially the old man.

The following is from Mike’s study of Isaiah chapter 30. Our Rebellion Leads to Our Shame

Continuing with the use of drowned, the following verse in Timothy adds to our understanding.

1Ti 6:9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.

Tying this to our last study which was about the parable of Lazarus and the rich man showing us that the rich also represents the same as the Egyptians represent:  The Parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man

Who is the rich man?

1Co 3:21 Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; 
1Co 3:22 Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; 
1Co 3:23 And ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.

“All things” include both Lazarus and the rich man. We are, at our appointed time, both of these men, and we are all first the rich man. According to these verses, all of God’s apostles are ours. So also is death ours. As Job asks:

Job 2:10 But he said unto her [Job’s wife], Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.

That is the point of Paul’s statement that “all things are yours, whether life or death or things present or things to come.” In other words we will “live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”

What does all of that have to do with this parable of Lazarus and the rich man? It tells us that we all are that rich man who thinks of himself as rich and increased with goods and having need of nothing, when in reality we are poor and wretched and miserable and blind and naked and in need of buying gold of God tried in the fire. “He that hath ears, let him hear what the spirit says to the churches.”

Continuing with the parable in Luke 17:3-4:

Luk 17:3 Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.
Luk 17:4 And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.

Here is the parable of the unforgiving servant to help us understand.

Mat 18:21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
Mat 18:22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
Mat 18:23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.
Mat 18:24 And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.
Mat 18:25 But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.
Mat 18:26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
Mat 18:27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.
Mat 18:28 But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.
Mat 18:29 And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
Mat 18:30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.
Mat 18:31 So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.
Mat 18:32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:
Mat 18:33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? 
Mat 18:34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.
Mat 18:35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

If a member of the body of Christ trespasses against us and they repent, we must forgive them, if they repent. As they grow in maturity, Lord willing, this will decrease as time goes along. The reason this should decrease is because the trespasser was weak in the faith. As they grow in faith, their sinful nature will diminish.

Rom 14:1 Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.
Rom 14:2 For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.

Rom 15:1 We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.

The strong must take heed to not become a stumbling block to the weak.

1Co 8:4 As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one.
1Co 8:5 For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)
1Co 8:6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.
1Co 8:7 Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled.
1Co 8:8 But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse.
1Co 8:9 But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.

1Th 5:12 And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;
1Th 5:13 And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves.
1Th 5:14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.

The strong in faith are to support the weak increasing their faith by rebuking them, causing them to repent. Here are the reasons the more mature must rebuke the little ones.

Psa 39:11 When thou with rebukes dost correct man for iniquity, thou makest his beauty to consume away like a moth: surely every man is vanity. Selah.

Psa 119:17 GIMEL. Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I may live, and keep thy word.
Psa 119:18 Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.
Psa 119:19 I am a stranger in the earth: hide not thy commandments from me.
Psa 119:20 My soul breaketh for the longing that it hath unto thy judgments at all times.
Psa 119:21 Thou hast rebuked the proud that are cursed, which do err from thy commandments.
Psa 119:22 Remove from me reproach and contempt; for I have kept thy testimonies.
Psa 119:23 Princes also did sit and speak against me: but thy servant did meditate in thy statutes.
Psa 119:24 Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counsellors.

Pro 28:21 To have respect of persons is not good: for for a piece of bread that man will transgress.
Pro 28:22 He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye, and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him.
Pro 28:23 He that rebuketh a man afterwards shall find more favour than he that flattereth with the tongue.
Pro 28:24 Whoso robbeth his father or his mother, and saith, It is no transgression; the same is the companion of a destroyer.
Pro 28:25 He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife: but he that putteth his trust in the LORD shall be made fat.
Pro 28:26 He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.
Pro 28:27 He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse.
Pro 28:28 When the wicked rise, men hide themselves: but when they perish, the righteous increase.

2Ti 4:1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
2Ti 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

Tit 2:9 Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again;
Tit 2:10 Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.
Tit 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
Tit 2:12 Teaching (chastening) us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 

Rev 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

1Jn 4:17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

I will end with this:  What is repentance?

Here is an excerpt from Dennis’ study “Deu 13:6-10 What is Repentance?”

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