“And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”
Matthew 11:6, (context, vv. 2-6)
Being “blessed” is much more than having lots of money, a nice home or a fancy new car. First and foremost being blessed must be a spiritual word–it seems sometimes we have to rescue the true definition and then bring back its real meaning. The old hymn exhorts the enriched Christian to “count your many blessings, name them one by one.” Singing this will work something inside us.
We become spiritually prosperous when we begin to embrace the reality of Jesus–His words, actions, even His very person becomes the dearest thing we could ever dream of possessing. We’re also blessed when we receive deep inside us the many challenging things He says. We really must absorb these harder words without any reservations. It seems that He doles these things out very carefully.
We have to admit that being scandalized over Him is always a possibility. It can happened to a pastor, or a ‘newbie’ in the faith. No matter who we are, we’re always in the arena, being watched, and our faith in Jesus will be tested. Is it real? Will we be insulted or affronted by the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ? That dear one, it a very real possibility.
Jesus still offends people. There were those who embraced Him, and yet it seems to me that most ended up resisting and rejecting Him. He was a ‘wrench in their machinery,’ an obstacle in their theology. He was constantly doing things that didn’t seem right or proper.
Does Jesus offend you?
“When Jesus came to earth, demons recognized him, the sick flocked to him, and sinners doused his feet and head with perfume. Meanwhile he offended pious Jews with their strict preconceptions of what God should be like. Their rejection makes me wonder, could religious types be doing just the reverse now? Could we be perpetuating an image of Jesus that fits our pious expectations but does not match the person portrayed so vividly in the Gospels?”
-Philip Yancey, “The Jesus I Never Knew”