The unifying theme in this section is the importance of honoring children and others who lack worldly status in the kingdom (vv. 1-5). Those who cause a little child (literally, "little one") to fall from the faith will themselves be damned-a fate to be avoided at all costs (vv. 6-9). Not only must we not be the cause of a lowly person leaving Jesus' fellowship, but we must take the responsibility to seek those who are straying (vv. 10-14), as God had long desired his shepherds to do (Ezek 34:1-16). Many church offices today depend on honor shown to those with higher rank; but rank in the kingdom depends especially on how we treat those least honored among us.
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