“And blessed is the one who is not offended by Me.” Matthew 11:6
Do I question Jesus as to Who He is or what He does? Do I doubt His authority? Does Who He is offend me? Does what He say offend me?
I have answered those questions with a resounding, “YES!” before I knew Him. I knew of Jesus and during those many years (except as a child), I did question His very existence. I thought He was a good teacher, a kind and gentle man. But I certainly did not trust Who some said He was. I mean, they said He was born to a virgin! He performed miracles! He chose 12 men to be apostles who followed Him all over the place. Why would I believe Him? Why would I trust Him with my life? Besides, if I did, I might have to change…change the way I did things, or even change my thoughts. Goodness, no!!! Yes, I took up an offense!
In Matthew 11, John the Baptist was in prison and questioned Jesus:
Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to Him, “Are You the One Who is to come, or shall we look for another?” And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by Me.” Matthew 11:2-6
I. to put a stumbling block or impediment in the way, upon which another may trip and fall, metaph. to offend
- to entice to sin.
- to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey.
- to cause to fall away.
- to be offended in one, i.e. to see in another what I disapprove of and what hinders me from acknowledging his authority (Matthew 11:6, Mark 6:3, Matthew 26:31, Matthew 13:57-58)
- to cause one to judge unfavourably or unjustly of another
from Matthew Henry’s Commentary: Some think that John sent this question for his own satisfaction. It is true he had borne a noble testimony to Christ; he had declared him to be the Son of God, the Lamb of God, and he that should baptize with the Holy Ghost, and sent of God, which were great things. But he desired to be further and more fully assured, that he was the Messiah that had been so long promised and expected. Note, In matters relating to Christ and our salvation by him, it is good to be sure. Christ appeared not in that external pomp and power in which it was expected he should appear; his own disciples stumbled at this, and perhaps John did so;…. Note, It is hard, even for good men, to bear up against vulgar errors. **
(John’s doubt might arise from his own present circumstances. He was a prisoner, and might be tempted to think, if Jesus be indeed the Messiah, whence is it that I, his friend and forerunner, am brought into this trouble, and am left to be so long in it, …. **
(Others think that John sent his disciples to Christ with this question, not so much for his own satisfaction as for theirs. Observe, though he was a prisoner they adhered to him, attended on him, and were ready to receive instructions from him; they loved him, and would not leave him. Now, they were weak in knowledge, and wavering in their faith, and needed instruction and confirmation;….) **
Are worldly influences persuading us that Jesus is not who we are expecting? Is there someone greater or different? I think that the world around us does draw us away from the One Who has, indeed, come to save us because the world wants Him to be someone/something else.
“Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. Mark 6:3
Then Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away because of Me this night. For it is written, ‘I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ Matthew 26:31
And they took offense at Him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household.” And He did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief. Matthew 13:57-58
And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again. And He said this plainly. And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. Mark 8:31-32
It seems easier for us if Jesus would look like the world, to do things as the world does. We squeeze our description, our “Jesus-likeness” from our minds, into a box filled with expectations.
The Pharisees came and began to argue with Him, seeking from Him a sign from heaven to test Him. Mark 8:11
Many of them said, “He has a demon, and is insane; why listen to Him?” John 10:20
The Israelites wanted a king, a king who would conquer and save.
But we had hoped that He was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. Luke 24:13
Maybe our eyes are shut and we miss Him altogether.
While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were kept from recognizing Him. Luke 24:15-16
We want to know Who He is and to know this with clarity, intelligibility, and purity.
So the Jews gathered around Him and said to Him, “How long will You keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” John 10:24
This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the Cornerstone. Acts 4:11 (Psalm 118:22)
We want to know Him, yet we do not trust because we do not know Who He is.
Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name bear witness about Me, but you do not believe because you are not among My sheep. John 10:25-26
I see Jesus caring for the poor, the afflicted, the sick, the demon-possessed. These acts should draw me to Him, not send me away for He cares and loves the lowly and meek.
“If I am not doing the works of My Father, then do not believe Me; but if I do them, even though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me and I am in the Father.” John 10:37-38
The Cross offends. The Cross scares people because of the depth of it’s meaning. Jesus the Christ went to the Cross. He bled for each and all of us for we are sinners. We are disobedient to the Father. He sent His One and Only Son to draw us unto Him, to teach us the Truth. Jesus went to the Cross for the sins we committed. He was sinless. Jesus died for us, nailing our sins to the very Cross from which He hung.
Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection is a Truth that many run fast and hard away from. I did…for many years. I carried the heavy burden of my sin too and did not know what all that weight was on my back.
Rather than acknowledge Jesus as their Savior, the Jews dealt with Jesus in ways of their own:
The Jews picked up stones again to stone Him. John 10:31
So the band of soldiers and their captain and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound him. John 18:12
And they cried out again, “Crucify him.” Mark 15:13
I reached a place in my life, at age 45, when I could no longer run, nor hide, nor carry the weight of my sinful burden. I turned to Jesus. I repented of my sin. I could no longer face myself in a mirror because I saw no good in me through anything I was or did. I gave myself to Jesus. He cleansed me and made me brand new. The weight was lifted from my shoulders. Jesus has given me a new heart, a heart that loves Him and only Him. Through Him, I can live anew and love anew. Oh my! Freshened. Refreshed.
We know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. Romans 6:6
These words made no sense to me at one time in my life. Now, I can clearly see that my sin was cleansed by the blood of Jesus.
This is so OFFENSIVE to so many in this world.
“If the world hates you, know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” John 15:18-19
Yet, through the Word of God, prayer, quiet times, the Lord calls me to be near Him. He knows me and will not let me fall back into the world. I stay close to Him in obedience. I do not want to be a stray sheep.
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, Who has given them to Me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are One.” John 10:27-30
Father, I pray I am able to be true to You, to the Truth of the Gospel, to all that is of You. I want to be a reflection of You. I desire to transmit Your love to those I come in contact with, while opening my heart to others about Jesus. I do not want to be offensive yet the Cross, the Gospel, Jesus, You can be offensive to many. It is through me where some may meet up with these, thus possibly making me offensive, like body odor. They may stand back, run away, protest, deny. Reactions can be many. Lord, please guide me and show me Your ways in which to walk as I share my faith in You. I love You so. I pray in the Saving Name of Jesus. Amen.
** Matthew Henry: Commentary on Matthew 11
Cornerstone drawing: https://www.ulpanor.com/2017/11/23/hebrew-vs-aramaic/
Cross: Adam Zdebel @ https://www.flickr.com/photos/zdebel/. Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)