Jesus Christ Our Rock of Offense
Jesus knows of our tendency to take offense at Him. Matthew tells of a sad scene in which John the Baptist is in prison unsure of his fate. John sends his disciples to ask Jesus if He is indeed the One.
2 Now when John, while imprisoned, heard of the works of Christ, he sent word by his disciples 3 and said to Him, “Are You the Expected One, or shall we look for someone else?” 4 Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and report to John what you hear and see: 5 the BLIND RECEIVE SIGHT 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. 6 “And blessed is he who does not take offense at Me.”
Jesus Christ is indeed our rock. There is no doubt about that. To us He is our cornerstone and sure foundation. Just as Isaiah declared in 28:6 “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed.”
30 What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, you did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it 32 Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the “stumbling stone.” 33 As it is written:
“See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes men to stumble
And a rock that makes them fall,
And the one who trusts in Him will never be put to shame.”
While we trust Jesus as our rock of safety and security, there are those who stumble over Him. He is a point of offense to them and will continue to be until the light of the Gospel is shed upon their hearts.
When I look at the Christmas story, I see the tremendous love of God wrapped in swaddling clothes, His love displayed in the soft cries of an infant wanting to nurse from a poor virgin girl from an overlooked town. When I see the love of God announced by angels and tended by shepherds, I take hope by remembering that great passage in the Gospel of John: “For God so loved the world that he gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” When I see people that take offense at the Christmas story and call it a myth, I am reminded of the rest of John chapter three that reads:
18 Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what He has done has been done through God.”
While I wouldn’t have done it like that, I am sure glad that God did!