The Consequence of Offense

Matthew 13:57-58 “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 miracles there because of their unbelief.”

Observation: The people in Jesus’s hometown took offense at Jesus, both at His teaching and His miracles. It doesn’t say whether they were offended by the substance of His teaching or by the fact that He taught at all. The passage is silent as to what it was about His miracles they felt was so offensive. The point seems to be that they had offendable hearts; consequently the power of God passed them by. 

Application: This is especially tragic because Matthew 13:58 seems to suggest that there were far more miracles He desired to do in their midst than their unbelief permitted. Surely here, among His relatives and neighbors, He would have desired to do much, but their offense shut down the work of God in their lives. I can imagine Jesus weeping over their condition even as He wept over Jerusalem when that city missed out on its visitation from God.

Isn’t it interesting that the passage equates being offendable with unbelief? I need to understand that at a deep level. This is a timely reminder that the Lord has much more for me than I have yet received, because I am not yet dead to offense. Like a parent who says, “How many times have I told you…?” He keeps raising these core issues: die to sin, die to self, and cultivate an unoffendable heart. 

Prayer: Lord, I don’t need to ask You to send more offense into my life; there is plenty to practice on already. But I do ask You to help me shift my gaze away from the people and circumstances through whom offenses come; cause my mind, my heart, my eyes to be so fixed upon You that I no longer pick up offense.  Fill me with such passion for You that there is no longer room for anything in my heart except compassion for Your children and their needs.

One Response to “The Consequence of Offense”

  1. Fred Tippett says:

    Dave, this message is just what the Lord is challenging me with at this present time. How I waste precous time mulling over offences; trying to mastermind a solution to what I preceive as everyone problem. Only to make things worse.

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