Mark 4:16 And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; 17 And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, WHEN AFFLICTION OR PERSECUTION ARISETH FOR THE WORD’S SAKE, IMMEDIATELY THEY ARE OFFENDED.
Jesus said that it is impossible to avoid coming into contact with offenses and opportunities to be offended but don’t be the one who causes them (Matthew 18:7; Luke 17:1). Jesus was speaking of offenses involved with our interaction with people, or RELATIONAL OFFENSES. These are offenses when someone trespasses against us or commits a transgression as defined by Scripture. We are living in a fallen world with imperfect human beings and there’s a devil to deal with. We do not have to believe God for them; we do not have to put this confession of faith on our refrigerator with a little magnet saying, “I am believing for offenses,” no, they are going to come. Jesus is warning and preparing us that offenses will come.
Jesus also talked about getting offended in the area of our involvement with the Word of God, when pressured from our enemy who comes to steal the Word of God from us, we might call REVELATIONAL OFFENSES. The enemy afflicts and persecutes us (puts pressure on us) for the Word that has been heard and for the revelation (illumination) that has come to us. It is not accidental or coincidental when offense comes to you especially after you receive revelation or illumination from the Word of God. The offense is a deliberate trap laid by satan. In Mark 4:15 Jesus spoke of the tactics of satan to stop the Word of God from producing in us. Like a preview of coming attractions, Mark 4:15-17 is a preview of the movement that will come toward our life from the dark side.
His exact tactics include:
Take the Word Mark 4:15.
2. Bring persecution/affliction Mark 4:16, 17.
3. Bombard our mind with the cares of this world Mark 4:18, 19.
4. Tempt us with the deceitfulness of riches Mark 4:18, 19.
5. Seduce us to the lusts of other things Mark 4:18, 19.
All of these are deliberate and designed to stop the Word of God. Notice after the Word is sown, Jesus said, “…satan cometh…to take away the Word.” In verse 16 it shows us that for those who receive the Word, his tactics change. Affliction/persecution/pressure comes for the Word’s sake and causes them to be offended v.17. Who generates these things arising or coming to you? Satan, of course, has to stop the Word from taking root and producing fruit so he has to put so much pressure on us we get ticked off, angry, and offended so we let go of the Word of God. Offense is an absolute, deliberate act of satan to entice you into a pit of hurt feelings, anger, repressed emotions, and feeling sorry for yourself. It is a trap. Don’t take the bait; throw a fit; or go off outraged in your senses. Hold fast to the Word of God.
Getting illumination from the Word of God will expose us to satan coming with pressure and problems to steal the Word. The Good News is that when we get a hold of the Word of God we gain the power to put the problems down and beat the pressure. The Lord foresaw every means satan would use to cause us to stumble and provided power over it. Luke 10:19 says, “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” Part of that power is inward power to remain at peace and calm. Psalm 119:165 shares a great truth about developing an unoffendable heart, “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.”