Matt 18:1-2 At the same time came the disciples to Yeshua (Jesus), saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Yeshua (Jesus) called a little child to Him, and set him before them,
The disciples where getting their priorities mixed up. They were beginning to jockey for position in Yeshua’s kingdom and Yeshua surprised them with what he told them.
Matt 18:3-4 And said, Truly I say to you, Except you humble yourself, and become as little children, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore will humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
This means we do not look to our own actions and good deeds and take pride in ourselves when it comes to how we get to the kingdom above. We humbly declare our sin and accept what Yeshua did for us to enter into the kingdom above.
As you will recall the book of Matthew parallels the 5 books of the Torah. We have now reached the section of Matthew, which corresponds to the book of Numbers.
This is illustrated in Num. 13-14. Only the children could enter the Promised Land because the older generation was rejected because of unbelief. This was a picture of those as little children entering the other world or heaven above out of belief/trust. Who lead the younger generation into the kingdom? Interestingly his name was Y’hoshua. He is a type of Yeshua HaMashiach. In Matthew we have Yeshua guiding us to the Promised Land above.
The Eighteen letter of the Hebrew Alpha Bet is Tzaddi- righteousness and humility; kneeling and standing at an end of the sentence. So the letter interestingly can go from kneeling -which is a sign of humility- to standing.
Matt 18:5 And whoever will receive one such little child in My name receives Me.
If you receive us, believers in Yeshua, the Father and the Son will receive you also.
Matt 18:6 But whoever will 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.
HaShem will punish those that try to lead Believers in the Son astray.
Matt 18:7 Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes!
The world will try to cause true believers to stumble or sin but it should not be another believer who should cause his brother to sin.
Romans 14:13 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.
Matt 18:8-9 Wherefore if your hand or your foot offend you, cut them off, and cast them from you: it is better for you to enter into life crippled or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. And if your eye offend you, pluck it out, and cast it from you: it is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell (Gehenna) fire.
This is not to be taken literally for it would be foolish to do so. It illustrates the seriousness of sin or disobedience to the Word. Count the cost. If you think there may not be consequences for coming to HaShem you are wrong. There may be. We may lose fame, we may lose money, we may lose pride of the world. No matter what the consequences are, receiving His mercy now is better than the consequences of being cast into Gehenna later.
Matt 18:10-11 Take heed that you despise not one of these little ones; for I say to you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven. For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.
Do not despise any believer because the Father cares for them and has angels watching over all believers.
Matt 18:12-14 How do you think? If a man have a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety and nine, and goes into the mountains, and seeks that which is gone astray? And if it be so that he find it, truly I say to you, he rejoices more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father, which is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.
Anyone that has a wayward son would understand the significance of wanting that son to return. Many of us were wayward sons who have no problem understanding this. We rejoice more heartily because he was forgiven more and thought never to return. The mercy of Adonai extends farther than man’s mercy. David was well aware of His mercy.
2 Samuel 24:14 And David said to Gad, I am in a great strait: let us fall now into the hand of the L-RD; for his mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man.
Matt 18:15-16 Moreover if your brother will trespass against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone: if he will hear you, You have gained your brother. But if he will not hear you, then take with you one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
Discipline in regard to true Believers: This also corresponds with the murmuring in the book of Numbers.
The moral implications of the law (instruction) are still a good guideline. If one of us believers does wrong and habitually continues to do this same wrong that one should be confronted. If they fail to heed the warning they should be confronted by his brothers and eventually to the body. If they continue they should be told to leave. Make sure your instructions are made from what the complete word of HaShem, including the B’rit Hadashah. This doesn’t mean we go by just the parts we want to hear. There are consequences to making false judgments on others. We should be One in accord with what the Word says.
Matt 18:17-18 And if he will neglect to hear them, tell it to the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be to them as an heathen man and a tax collector. Truly I say to you, What ever you will bind on earth will be bound in heaven: and whatsoever you will loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
What isn’t allowed here will not be allowed in heaven. We also touched on this statement in the previous chapter.
We are to hate the sin. In regards to true believers there is a right way and a wrong way to go about correcting another in their actions. To tell others in a loving, compassionate, and empathetic manner is always best. When they do wrong telling them the truth is a way of loving that person because they are only harming themselves by their actions.
More and more “so-called” churches are allowing behavior that is sinful. Many that do are false churches.
1 Corinthians 5:11-13 But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a BROTHER (true believer), who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner--not even to eat with such a person. For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? But those who are outside G-d judges. Therefore "put away from yourselves the evil person."
G-d will judge those outside the true body of believers.