Matthew 18: 1-6 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and said, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2 And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, 3 and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me; 6 but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.
The phrase “little ones” in Matthew 18:6 is the Greek word mikros mikroteros and means small in size. The reference is not to a child but refers to those who “humble himself as this little child”.
Matthew 10: 40-42 40 “He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. 41 He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 42 And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.”
In Matthew 10, no children are referred to.
I believe that God has a special place for anyone that harms a child on purpose will have to explain that to God, however we must have a fundamental understanding of words and verses in the Bible.
The term “little ones” is clearly directed at Born Again Christians, children of God. And with that comes a stern warning from Jesus that whoever messes with us there will be a great punishment! “…better to have a millstone hung around his neck” Thrown into the sea!
– millstone[ mil-stohn ] noun
either of a pair of circular stones between which grain or another substance is ground, as in a mill.