Matthew 11:6 Blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.
Our God is a good God and has already blessed us in Christ with all spiritual blessings in Christ (Ephesians 1:3). He wants us blessed and to be a blessing. He wants us to experience blessing, be a blessing, and not just talk about it. He is a rewarder and a giver of all good things; no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly (Psalm 84:11). Any time we are moving with God to another level of His plan, advancement in ministry, new level of blessing, and increase, watch out for offenses.
There are often hardships we face while serving God and they can become occasions to become offended. This is especially true when things don’t turn out as we expected or when it seems to us that our God doesn’t respond to us as we think He should have or when He should have (Matthew 11:1-6). Not only can life be unfair at times but so can serving God. Injustices happen in life and ministry. Matthew 11:1-6 is the account of John the Baptist who was in prison for serving God faithfully, laying his life down, sacrificing and doing what God had called him to do. This isn’t someone living in sin, compromising, or living for himself. He sends messengers to ask Jesus if He was the one prophesied about that would come or should he look for someone else. Jesus doesn’t come to him but sends a message back through someone else to tell John what you’ve seen and heard… and don’t be offended. Jesus said in Matthew 11:6, “Blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.”
What exactly are the offenses He was talking about? In Mark 6:1-7 Jesus preached the Word of God in His own home town but it says in v.3 “…and they were offended at Him.” The word “offended’ is used in a different context but we can understand what an offense is from it. The word offended is the word “skandalon” which originally was the name of the part of the trap to which the bait is attached; hence, the trap or snare itself. The word was always used or ordinarily used to speak of:
Anything that arouses prejudices or becomes a hindrance to others.
2. Anything that causes them to fall away or stumble.
3. Anything that causes a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey.
Offense, in the context of the tactics of our enemy, is the bait of satan to cause us to stumble and miss God’s plan, our blessing, and our destiny. Remember we wrestle not with flesh and blood but against the various forces of the enemy (Ephesians 6:12). What happens when we pick up offenses?
- OFFENSES DISTRACT US FROM FULFILLING THE CALL OF GOD AND WASTE TIME.
We end up wasting our time on unfruitfulness. Remember Saul who was offended at David spent years chasing after him and tried to kill time and time again. What a waste of time.
- OFFENSES WILL CAUSE US TO NO LONGER BE PRODUCTIVE.
No matter how hard we work, it will not yield for you what it should. Remember the story of Cain in Genesis 4:9-12; Cain’s land was cursed because of his actions and the offense in his heart.
- OFFENSES CAN SEVER A DIVINE JOINING.
Holding an offense will disconnect you from divine relationships God established to advance His dream for your life. Remember Saul and Barnabas Acts 13:1-2. Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. When you get to Acts 15:36-40, v.9 says, “the contention was so sharp, they departed asunder.” Barnabas took Mark and Paul chose Silas. We never hear about Barnabas again.
God has called us to bear fruit (John 15:16) and to do good works (Ephesians 2:10) as we preach the Gospel in our world. We do not have forever to fulfill our assignment and time is swiftly passing by. We do not have time or energy to waste on the emotional drama that offenses can trap us into. People get offended when we live for God’s desires and to the will of God not man’s desires and will (1 Peter 4:1-5). What pleases God doesn’t always please men but whose servants are we? The Apostle Paul gives us the answer, “For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ Gal. 1:10.” We should be like Jesus and be about pleasing the Father with our life. “And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him (John 8:29).”