Why it matters: Life is tough. Jesus knows that. He really knows that. Jesus has a warning. Am I ready to hear it?
And he said to his disciples, “Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin,
English Standard Version. (2016). (Lk 17:1–2). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
We are to be very careful. We are not to be the person who creates a stumbling block. The Greek word here is helpful to understand. σκάνδαλον (skándalon) is the native rock rising up through the earth, which trips up the traveler. It is the bait-stick of a trap, a snare, a stumbling-block. The stick in the trap that springs and closes the trap when the animal touches it.
Paul says in Romans 14:13:
Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this — not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way.
God has a goal for us: Judging other believers causes me to put an obstacle in their way. Woe to me if I do that! Woe, Jesus says. Judging is a huge problem. It permeates our culture. We see it in “the church” and our leadership. I see it in me. I must root it out of my life.
Love is the way to change. Love makes a difference.
I am also to be on the lookout for this behavior. Consider this from Paul.
Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them.