Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Blessed Offender

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"And blessed is the one who is not offended in Me." - Luke 7:23

The Offense of Jesus

Are you offended when Jesus doesn't look or act like you think he should?

Imagine for a moment that you are John the Baptist.  Called out by God for a remarkable purpose, you forsook worldly pleasures, selfish ambition, and the inherent, dogged human desire to "fit in,” all for the sake of preparing others to meet Jesus.

As a result, your days in the wilderness have been hot and the nights lonely.
But as a reward for your faithfulness to Christ and his call on your life, you find yourself demoted, abandoned, and mistreated.

John the Baptist, in his darkest hour of testing and through the bars of Herod's dungeon, hears wonderful stories of the Messiah. Jesus is healing the sick, giving sight to the blind, casting out demons, and even bringing the dead back to life! Most importantly, he is fulfilling John's prophetic message of repentance and forgiveness.

Everything is as John proclaimed it would be.

Still, the one who proclaimed, "Behold the Lamb of God!" now asks, "Are you the one who is to come?"

John's question regarding Christ stems not from a doubting heart as much as a discouraged and dissatisfied one.

The Response of Jesus

John wants answers and action on his behalf.  Jesus provides neither.  He doesn't impart any special revelation as to who he is or what his greater intentions are regarding John's tragic situation.

Jesus affirms John. "A prophet?  Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.  I tell you, among those born of women none is greater than John."

He also rebukes him.  "Go and tell John...."

But with the rebuke, he offers a blessing.  "Blessed is the one who is not offended in Me."

Faith in the Person Versus Fear of the Present

Are you disheartened with the place to which God’s will has led you thus far, to the point where your faith in the Person is challenged by your fear of the present? Are you offended that our Lord requires - sometimes in the most severe and heartrending ways - much faith of those who have been heretofore the most faithful?

Forsake your right to be offended, and in doing so, you will receive a supernatural blessing.


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