March 26 – Offended

Read: Matthew 11:2-6

And blessed is the one who is not offended by me. (Matthew 11:6 ESV)

Jesus’ cousin John the Baptizer had already seen proof of Jesus’ identity as the foretold Messiah. John himself was a prophesied child. He was the one sent as a voice that would prepare the people for the coming of The Lord. Still, when John found himself imprisoned he reached out to Jesus for one more confirmation. Jesus did not disappoint.

John’s followers went to Jesus per the Baptizer’s request and returned to share news of the incredible things Jesus was doing. Miracles were happening. The kind of which had never been seen before among the Jews. This was Jesus’ testimony about himself as to the power and confirmation of his true identity as Messiah. As John’s disciples parted Jesus offered one last comment, “blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”

Jesus’ words may sound strange at first but they would have been incredibly encouraging to John. John was arrested because his preaching offended a powerful man. Jesus in essence was issuing John a confirming statement. This same message holds true for us today.

We live in an age when many people find the message of the unmitigated Gospel offensive. They don’t know how to handle the truth of the idea that mankind is responsible for their sinfulness, that all have sinned, and that Jesus is the only answer to the sin problem. So people often try to change the message to be less offensive by leaving out or altering the portions which would appear offensive.

Jesus’ words are a clear warning. The Gospel will offend. Those with too much pride will reject its truth for their own comfort. They will harden their hearts. Those who embrace the offensiveness of Jesus will instead be changed by it. They will find freedom in the fact that although we are all sinful, and we are all responsible for our sin, Jesus offers us a way out. Truly blessed indeed are those who are not offended by Jesus.

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