Really strong warnings on the power of leadership
Mark 9: 41-42
“Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward. 42 “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea.”
Jesus is speaking to the 12 disciples, the leaders of the church.
The little ones are those who give a cup of water. Those believers who may not be as significant as the 12 disciples or similar large ministry in the church.
The little ones are those who come under the influence and care of people with greater seniority. They are children in Matthew’s gospel.
The little ones are new believers of Christ.
To cause to stumble is to entice them away from following Jesus through temptation.
To cause them to stumble is to put needless pressure on them to perform to such a degree that it becomes inevitable that they will fall away.
To cause them to stumble is to discourage them from following their plan and purpose in God.
Why would any leader do this? Desire.
Why would any leader do this? Control.
Why would any leader do this? Self-righteousness.
The millstone is a form of execution that is a slow and painful death reserved for those leaders who make the little ones stumble.
The millstone means you are being removed from the scene of life.
The millstone means you will never make a come-back.