My daughter gave me a magnet that says, “Jesus loves you but I’m his favourite.” In these verses is Jesus saying God has favourites? Well, it seems, yes. God favours the “little ones.” Exactly who the little ones are in the gospel is not clear. It may simply be followers or disciples of Jesus. It may be those who are young or new to discipleship. It may be children who Jesus describes as having angels with God in heaven.
From children to disciples, the preference of God and command of Jesus is clear: do not cause to stumble, do not despise, do not lose one of the little ones of God. Does this mean we need to always keep as a first concern those who are vulnerable in any way-the sick and frail, children and elders, the homeless and poor, those with various abilities, those who are different or in the minority? Are Jesus’ strong and even shocking words about never getting in the way of, or cutting off or out anything that does, a constant reminder to live aware of this preference of God that is to be our preference, too? And isn’t this strong preference of God and Jesus also a promise to each one of us?
God, protect all who are vulnerable and help us do the same always. Amen. — LM