Luke 7:23 And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.”
If this verse of scripture is true, which it is, it means it is possible for us to get offended with Jesus. And before you say, “Well, sure. That makes sense. Many in the world are offended at Jesus because they don’t believe in Him” I need to make a point that Jesus didn’t make this statement to a person who didn’t believe in him. He made it to John the Baptist, who was the greatest revivalist of his generation.
DO I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION YET?
If John the Baptist can become offended, you and I can become offended so we need to find out why John the Baptist had become offended? The reason is unmet expectations.
Think about it, John’s ministry started off with a bang! He moved to the middle of nowhere and began proclaiming a message about the Messiah who was to come and the Holy Spirit began to draw people to him. The scripture says John had locusts in his beard so he didn’t do it by being super cool or trendy. He really was experiencing a legitimate move of God. This move of God was so strong that even the Pharisees were drawn to John’s meetings to find out what was happening
After some time, Jesus himself went to one of John’s meetings and asked to be baptized. In other words, John had it going on! I’m sure he thought, “Praise God, look at what God is doing. He’s drawn multitudes to the wilderness to hear me preach about the Messiah who is to come and now he has come I’ve baptized him! THE KINGDOM OF GOD HAS BEEN CONSUMMATED HERE ON EARTH! EVERYTHING IS ABOUT TO CHANGE!
Only it didn’t change. At least it didn’t change for John for the better. It actually got worse! A short time after Jesus’s baptism, John was arrested and put in prison. And then to make matters worse, Jesus didn’t do what John expected. Jesus began to preach the gospel, heal the sick, and raise the dead, but he didn’t overturn the existing religious and governmental structures. Both the Pharisees and Romans continued to stay in power and thrive for a season. This caused John to become discouraged which is why Jesus said:
BLESSED IS HE WHO IS NOT OFFENDED BECAUSE OF ME!
Sometimes we can get offended in the midst of a powerful move of God because the totality of how God is moving brings things we don’t expect. Unmet expectations in the midst of a powerful move of God can cause our hearts to become offended and ultimately be the breeding ground of the devil!
Ultimately Jesus wanted to do something far greater than set up a natural governmental kingdom. He wanted to set up a spiritual kingdom in men’s hearts that would abide forever! If Jesus would have met John’s expectation and defeated the Romans and Pharisees at his first coming he wouldn’t have had anyone to left to crucify him so he could reconcile mankind to the Father.
In my own life, I’ve seen many times where I was standing on a promise and then had to go through a season of adversity or unexpected challenges. It’s never been easy, but as I have continued to trust God in the face of mystery, the break-through has always come and every time the answer has been far better and far sweeter than I could have ever initially imagined.
Learning to trust in the face of mystery is one of the most essential things every Christian most learn to do in order to fulfill God’s will for their lives. When we know God is good and he is working all things together for good in our lives, this will bring healing to our heart when we are attempted to get offended!
If you would like to learn more about how to believe God in the face of adversity, please listen to this teaching here.