Mat 18:4 Therefore whoever shall humble himself like this little child, this one is the greater in the kingdom of Heaven.
Mat 18:5 And whoever shall receive one such little child in My name receives Me.
It’s interesting how we seem to read a verse over and over again for years and we always draw-out the same conclusion to it. For years I’ve read and heard these two verses described separately. The first verse, as it appears, that Jesus is rebuking the disciples for their pursuit of supremacy, even as it manifests amongst themselves in their desire to know who is or will be greater amongst themselves. And in the midst of this Jesus illustrates His point with the example of a little child. And the humility of child is how we should approach our life in Christ. And then the second verse becomes a separate thought completely. Christ then seems to, in our standard translation of this passage, place the child in the middle literally, removing the metaphor and simply says whoever receives a child in my name receives me. Whoever receives any child. But the following verse picks up again like this..Mat 18:6 “But whoever shall offend one of these little ones who believes in Me...” Jesus seems to return to the concept of being like a little child, believing in Jesus in such a manner as a child would. I’m not entirely convinced, but what if the whole time He is talking here, he is talking about that which he first described and is following through the metaphor He created ...what if, in verse 5 He means anyone who received one who believes in Jesus and humbles himself as a child receives Jesus. And what if He means that anyone who offends one such as this, that believes in Jesus and has humbled himself as a child, it would be better for him to have a millstone around his neck. According to the beginning of this analogy, such a one would be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. According to the analogy one who would be greatest in the kingdom of heaven would also be one whose angel always sees the face of God. I guess what I’m saying is, what if we look at this verse as the analogy of the child explained further, with greater detail. That the Lord be the one who defends one of such a faith; that the Lord is offended when one of such a faith is offended and it is a horrible thing that one should offend the Lord. And the Lord will defend one such as this.