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Scripture Reading: Matthew 18:4-9

Am I a Stumbling Block?



1.  “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me…” (Matt. 16:23).

2.  Offense (skandalon): A cause of sin; “a trap-stick (bent sapling), i.e. snare…--occasion to fall (of stumbling), offence, thing that offends, stumblingblock” (Strong’s).

3.  “prop. the movable stick or tricker (‘trigger’) of a trap, trap-stick; a trap, snare” (Thayer, 577).

4.  “any impediment placed in the way and causing one to stumble or fall” (Thayer, 577).

  a.  Obstacle before a blind person, Lev. 19:14.

  b.  Jesus and the gospel (Rom. 9:33; 1 Pet. 2:8, 7; Isa. 8:14; 1 Cor. 1:23).

  c.  “metaph. any person or thing by which one is (‘entrapped’) drawn into error or sin” (Thayer), cf. Judg. 2:3, 11-13.

5.  Stumbling block: Allurement, enticement or cause to sin, Matt. 18:6.

6.  Who is a stumbling block? How can I be a stumbling block? How do I avoid being a stumbling block?



  A.  By Minding the Things of Men instead of God, Matt. 16:21-23.

    1.  Allowing our own emotions, motives, intentions to object to God’s revealed purposes.

    2.  Carnally minded become stumbling blocks, Rom. 8:6-8.

    3.  Spiritually minded avoid being stumbling blocks, Col. 3:1-2.

  B.  Through having a Lack of Love, 1 Jno. 2:10-11.

    1.  By definition, love is careful not to be a stumbling block.

    2.  Displayed by our words and deeds to each other, Col. 3:12-15.

  C.  By having an Overestimate of Oneself (Conceit), 1 Cor. 8:1-3.

    1.  Trust in one’s own knowledge, ability, etc. instead of Scripture.

    2.  Must love God more than self to prevent being stumbling block.



  A.  Preventing People from Following Jesus is a Stumbling Block, Matt. 19:13-15; 3 Jno. 9-10.

  B.  A False Teacher is a Stumbling Block, Rom. 16:17.

     1.  Peter’s rebuke of Jesus, Matt. 16:22-23.

     2.  Exploit you with deceptive words, 2 Pet. 2:1-3.

  C.  An Ungodly Influence is a Stumbling Block, Eph. 5:5-7; 1 Cor. 15:33.

     1.  Good influences…good results; Unholy influences…enticements to sin.

     2.  Our influence edifies or lays a snare for others.

       a.  Influence of our values (cf. Moses, Heb. 11:24-26).

       b.  Influence of associations & conduct (cf. Solomon 1 Kgs. 11:4).

       c.  Influence of our words, cf. 1 Tim. 4:16; 2 Tim. 4:3-4.

  D.  Misusing a Liberty is a Stumbling Block, 1 Cor. 8:9-13; 10:31-33.

    1.  Leading a weak conscience to violate itself is an offense (9).

    2.  Forego liberty to avoid being a stumbling block (13).

  E.  Judging One Another Concerning Liberties is a Stumbling Block, Rom. 14:13 (1-4).

      -Respect each other’s conscience in liberties without becoming contemptuous or condemning.

  F.  Refusing to Forgive is a Stumbling Block, Lk. 17:1-5.

  G.  Binding Human Traditions (Opinions) is a Stumbling Block, Matt. 23:4. (Fault-finding rooted in human tradition, Mk. 7:1-3.)

  H.  Urging and Condoning Sinful Conduct is a Stumbling Block, Rev. 2:14.



  A.  The Presence of Stumbling Blocks in the World is Inevitable, Matt. 18:7.

  B.  Peril of being a Stumbling Block to Oneself & Others, Matt. 18:6.

  C.  Punishment for being a Stumbling Block, Matt. 18:6-7; 13:41-42.

  D.  How to Prevent being a Stumbling Block, Matt. 18:8-9.

    1.  Identify if you are causing (enticing) someone to sin (your sin): Is my thinking carnal? Do I lack love? Do I think too highly of myself?

    2.  Remove the offense (repentance).

    3.  Reconcile and heal.



1.  No disciple of Jesus wants to be a stumbling block (cf. Peter).

2.  When we are, we must be honest with ourselves and humbly repent, for our own salvation and for the spiritual well-being of others.



By: Joe R. Price

Posted: June 5, 2018