The Offensiveness of Jesus Christ and His Gospel

As John the Baptist unjustly languished in prison, he was understandably discouraged and had some doubts about the Lord Jesus. That led him to send his disciples in Luke 7 to inquire if Jesus was really the Christ. Jesus sent them back to John after they saw all the godly works he was doing in his ministry that day. Upon sending them back, Jesus had these frank, but loving, words for John, for John’s disciples, for the hearers in Christ’s presence that day, and for all people to heed throughout the ages in v. 23–

And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.

Because of the Lord Jesus’s Messiahship, the necessity of the cross, the nature of God’s kingdom, the truth of his word, and the multitude of operations in his ministry, there is everywhere and will always be something in this fallen world that will offend fallen human nature when it comes to the Lord Jesus. That occurs for several reasons, such as:

  • Christ challenges our preconceived pet notions and expects us to submit to him as a child would (Matthew 18:3).
  • He wants us to surrender our sinful nature and its sinful habits to him regardless of how important we deem them to be (Matthew 5:29).
  • The Lord expects us to place the Godhead in our lives in first place above ourselves and above family, friends, or anyone we may adore (Luke 14:26).
  • Our rewards for faithful service to God is based on the spiritual and eternal instead of material and temporary things.
  • Our service to the Father is only acceptable when we acknowledge his grace (unmerited favor) toward us, realizing we accept his new life in us strictly as his gift and not something we earned by our own accomplishment.

Even in the midst of Christian organizations and gatherings there will be those who find offense in Christ on such godly matters. Whether they are in our midst or only in secular settings, people offended by Christ and his gospel will not experience the spiritual blessings of the Lord. For those of us who aren’t offended by any of these things, we can expect to be in the Lord’s blessing. We can experience his peace and joy in our hearts and to be covered by the beauty of his holiness. Even if we face dark times in our lives, the Lord’s joy will be accessible to us and he will conquer our sorrows in the end. We will transition into an eternal state of blessed hope and the fulfillment of our earnest expectation in our Father’s presence when this life ends. So what the unblessed deem offensive is in our case something most pleasant.

 

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