I’ll definitely be following this over on Frank Viola’s blog, looking forward to part 2.
“Blessed is the person who is not offended by me.”~Matthew 11:6
To be offended means to stumble or trip. The Scripture tells us that Jesus is a rock of offense . . . or a rock of stumbling . . . to the disobedient 1 Pet. 2:8. In His earthly days, the Lord Jesus was constantly offending the religious establishment.
But in the above text, Jesus has someone else in mind. He’s speaking to His followers: “Blessed are you, my followers, when you are not offended by me.” The context bears this out.
John the Baptist was utterly loyal to Jesus. He walked a life of total self-denial. He gave everything up for his God. And now he is in prison.
We have no record that the Lord ever visited him there. So John is questioning and doubting. He’s probably thinking, “Was it really worth it? I lived my whole life to pave the way for the Messiah, and now I’m in prison. The kingdom hasn’t yet come.”
John is wondering and wavering; he’s tempted to stumble at his Lord. So he sends word to Jesus asking, “Are you really the one who was to come? Or should we expect another?”
Again, Jesus doesn’t visit John. He instead sends this answer to him via his disciples:“Go back and report to John what you’re seeing. The deaf hear; the blind see; the lepers are cleansed; the dead are raised; the good news is being preached to the poor . . . and happy is the person who is not offended in me. Peaceful is the man who doesn’t stumble over me. Blessed is the person who doesn’t fall away on account of what I do or not do.”
Over the years, I’ve watched Christians take offense with the Lord. Some of them were passionate followers of Jesus in their youth, but later ended up renouncing Him. Why?
Because they chose to be offended by Him.“Blessed is the person who is not offended by me.” This is the forgotten beatitude.
In this post, I want to share three reasons why Christians become offended by the Lord. In part two of the series, I want to discuss the issue of Christians being offended by others. The two are distinct, but not separate.
Reason 1: He demands too much. In John 16:1, Jesus tells His disciples that He’s sharing “all these things” so they won’t be offended by Him. Some of those “things” were stern warnings that they would be hated by the world and persecuted John 15:18ff.. Jesus made clear that following Him won’t be a bed of roses. Suffering and loss are involved.Unfortunately, some present a gospel that leaves these parts out. The result:…. read the rest of this via 3 Reasons Why Christians Get Offended by God & What To Do About It | Beyond Evangelical | The Blog of Frank Viola.