Daily Devotional 10-9-19

Beware of Offense
By Rev. Emmanuel Afful

And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples and said to Him, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?” Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see:  The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them.  And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.” Matthew 11:2-4

In this world, you cannot prevent being offended, but you can determine how to respond to it.

John the Baptist was imprisoned because he spoke truth to power.  He knew the identity of Jesus.  He identified Jesus as “The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29.  In fact, when Mary visited Elizabeth when both were pregnant, the unconscious John in the womb leaped for joy in the presence of the unconscious Jesus in the womb of Mary. Luke 1:41. 

Now, John was in prison and most likely was expecting Jesus to come to his rescue—something Jesus did not do.  Instead, He went about teaching, preaching and working miracles to bring freedom to people.  The imprisoned John was offended that the Son of God, whom he baptized and introduced, would not use His power to set him free.  Therefore, the offended John sent his disciples to Jesus if he was the real Messiah or they should expect another one.

Hmmm. Offense. It can be very powerful.  It had made the man of God, John, to question the identity of the Son of God.  Offense will give you a negative lens to see differently the people you knew so well.  It will make you bitter towards those you love. 

One of the challenges to sustaining relationships is an offense.  We know it is next to impossible to have a genuine relationship without one party offending the other sometimes.  In my culture of origin, we say, “those who are close to you are the ones who will step on your toes.”  Oh, and how painful it is when loved ones offend you!

But, as a follower of Jesus Christ, you are called to love in the face of offense.  How can we do this? Come back tomorrow.

PRAYER: Holy Spirit, help me not to be blinded by an offense.