But whoever shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me…
It is not merely that we should abstain from actual wrong-doing. That of course. It is not even that we should shun the avenues of sin; but, whatever the pain or loss involved, we are utterly to renounce that which we find to be the occasion of sin. The merely literal and outward is not the thing to dwell open. A man might cut off both hands, or pluck out both eyes, and yet leave the root of sin untouched. What Christ summons to is the surrender of everything, however pleasant, or dear, or seemingly necessary for the present life, and whatever suffering there may be in the surrender, rather than sin against God. The boldly figurative language well expresses the intensity of the change.
Parallel VersesKJV: But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
WEB: but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to stumble, it would be better for him that a huge millstone should be hung around his neck, and that he should be sunk in the depths of the sea.