And he said to his disciples, “Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin. Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.”
The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.
Comment: What causes temptation? This is a huge question and I am sure that many theses and articles have been written on it. We like to blame a pitch-forked, red tights robed devil, and I’m sure that the devil gets involved. But our own fallen character and past experiences and habits play a part.
Here, however, it talks about people leading others, particularly children, into temptation. It certainly is a strong warning to parents, anti-God organizations, teachers, governments, you and me. It particularly points to each of us as individuals.
But giving into temptation can be followed by repentance. Real, heart felt repentance demands forgiveness. Repentance doesn’t mean no more temptation but further repentance requires further forgiveness.
Increase our faith is a wonderful outcry. The reply may be hyperbole or use of a common expression of the day, I don’t know, but it does highlight how small my (?our) faith is.
Prayer: What a responsibility You lay on us Lord. If I am such a cause, I repent, please, forgive me.