It’s a good thing that Matthew fully records this incident because Jesus did indeed expand on this. He said, “Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the realm of the skies.”. This young child is in the centre of a roomful of adult males, close to Jesus. Jesus says that anyone who is like this child in one single respect is the megas – greatest – in the realm of the skies. What particular respect?
Jesus has placed this little one in the centre – welcomed this young child. The young child trusts him. And the young child has no illusions that he might have any supremacy over anyone in the room. That doesn’t bother the child. He is safe and sound; he is well because he trusts Jesus. “Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the realm of the skies.” The child is totally trusting and humble because now he doesn’t need his own strength.
No wonder that Jesus then gives his disciples a plus and a minus. The plus is this, “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me…” Jesus used the word mikron to describe this child. Let’s use it too. What do you think? Why would a person who receives a mikron in Jesus’ name receive Jesus? Is it because a person like that is not only trusting in Jesus but also doing what Jesus does?
The minus is this, “…whoever may cause to stumble one of these small ones who trust in me, it would be better for him that a donkey-sized millstone be hung around his neck and he be drowned in the depth of the sea.” Whoever causes one of these mikrons, who trust in Jesus, to turn away from him, is a brave man. (Richard Dawkins said a few weeks ago that he’s working on two new books, both of which will be essentially "The God Delusion" for a younger audience….)
According to Matthew’s biography, Jesus, Son of God, Son of Man, had called this mikron to him. And Jesus is so concerned for this trusting mikron that he wants all his followers – all the whole world, really – to know that this mikron is megas and that anyone who causes this mikron to turn away from Him would be better off sinking into the depths of the sea with a donkey-sized millstone tied around his neck.