Why is that the very people who label themselves as open minded, always seem to be offended by something. Even worse, they use the fact that they are offended as a battle cry towards forcing others to stop or accept certain behavior. They push through public opinion and through courts with the concept that since XYZ offends them, the rest of us don’t have the right to do it. To tell you the truth, I take offense to that!
That’s OK though. Being offended is not something new to our culture. There were plenty of other supposedly “open minded” people throughout history that used the fact that they were offended to effect change in their culture.
When Jesus first came on the scene and began building his ministry, some of John the Baptists followers were seeking clarification if this was in fact the Christ that John had prophesied about. After Jesus gives them assurance of who He is, He says, “And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.” (Matthew 11:6)
Believe in His divinity or not, historically He was an amazing man. He never swore, never got drunk, never killed anyone, never called anyone a name, never held a grudge. In more recent times, people often point to Gandhi or Mother Theresa as examples of great people. It is rare to find people who were offended by either of these two figures. One of them had a deep faith in the divinity of Jesus and the other did not. But both held Jesus to high esteem and considered themselves not even worth to tie His sandals (to paraphrase a quote from John the Baptist).
Yet Jesus knew people would be offended by Him. Not so much by what He did (although some were offended He healed people on the Sabbath) but more about who He claimed to be. It was His claim to divinity that offended people. Many before and many since have made similar claims and yet we barely know many of their names. And those we do know were more seen as a bother or nuisance than an annoyance.
So why are Jesus’ claims different? Why are there so many people offended by His claim? Well, entire books could be written on just those two questions alone (and in fact have been). The truth about all of these claims is the fact that IF the claim is right, we have to come to terms with our own worldview of faith and it’s impact on our past actions. With all the others who have made the same claim, there was simply mountains of evidence to claim otherwise. But with Jesus, something was different. Instead of a mountain of evidence to prove He is NOT the Messiah, a mountain of verification continued to grow.
Prophecy after prophecy about the coming Messiah was fulfilled by Jesus. Some very simple examples and some that were completely amazing. Hundreds of such prophecies exist and He continue to prove them all true. And people not wishing to come to terms with their own wages of sin, are unable to disprove Jesus as the Messiah. Their only option at that point is to be offended by His message.
This is why Jesus said that those who are NOT offended by Him would be blessed.
I pray you are blessed. But if you are offended by Him. Perhaps it’s time to open that narrow mind of yours.
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