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Daily Verse: “But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, “Do you take offense at this?” (John 6:61 ESV)
SKANDALIZO (4624): “To entrap, i.e. trip up (fig. stumble) or entice to sin, apostasy or displeasure. To put a stumbling block or impediment in the way, upon which another may trip and fall. Metaph. To offend; to entice to sin; to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey; to cause to fall away; to be offended in one, i.e. to see in another what I disapprove of and what hinders me from acknowledging his authority, to cause one to judge unfavorably or unjustly of another.”[i]
Jesus, talking to the disciples, understands their grumblings. How could they eat His flesh and drink His blood? Offended by Jesus’ words, not understanding the metaphor, “many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him” (John 6:66 ESV).
Offense separates us from people. In this case, the disciples who chose to leave turned their back on eternal life. Because they felt offended, they no longer trusted Jesus. Their distrust stopped them from listening to Jesus, allowing the offense to cause them to fall away from His teachings.
Take no offense.
As you follow Jesus, you will meet people who offend you. I recently spent the day with someone who constantly took the Lord’s name in vain. People don’t use Buddha to curse others, but they use Jesus’ name. Like nails on a chalkboard, a part of me cringed each time the words came from their mouth. But I also know this person doesn’t believe in Jesus; I understand their background. So, I didn’t take offense. Instead, we talked about why I don’t like taking the Lord’s name in vain, allowing me to plant seeds.
If we get offended easily, we miss the moment. Full confession, my distrustful nature can easily take offense. However, following Jesus helps me realize that He didn’t. When Jesus endured persecution, not once did He take offense. Christ said very little as He made His way to the cross. Not letting others’ actions offend Him, Jesus didn’t stumble.
Jesus leads with love and grace; we should do the same. When someone offends you, pray, “Take no offense.” Recognize that hurting people hurt others. Instead of falling away, search for understanding. Grow closer as you work through the offended feelings together.
[i] [i] Strong, J., & Strong, J. (2010). The New Strong’s expanded exhaustive concordance of the Bible. Greek Dictionary of the New Testament (p. 227) Thomas Nelson