The NT word "offend" is used 4x in our passage, Mark 9:38-50. It means to trip, to cause someone to stumble.
And we can all identify with this, because whether intentionally or unintentionally, we've all probably tripped someone, or been tripped, or seen someone tripped.
Maybe it was at a restaurant.
One of the first Sundays I was working at a church in Denver, a family took me to a Mexican restaurant. And the waitress came out with a tray full of dishes. Well, as she came up to the table, she tripped and fell toward me dumping everything all over my suit.
I was a walking sampler platter. I could have gone around the restaurant and shown people everything on the menu.
There's hardly anything worse than causing a little one to stumble.
In v. 42, Jesus says, "But whosoever shall offend (cause to stumble) one of these little ones."
And by "little ones" again, He's not limiting this to just children. We'll see from the context, that He's actually referring to Christians who must come to Him in child-like faith and humility.
This evening we're going to see what warnings Jesus gives about offending or causing believers to stumble.