Jesus spoke these words to His disciples in Luke 7:23, and I believe He is speaking them to us in these days as well.
Jesus was being Jesus, healing people of diseases, plagues and evil spirits. He was giving sight to the blind, allowing the lame to walk, lepers were being cleansed, the dead were raising to life, and even the poor were receiving good news.
It was admid these happenings that John the Baptizer sent messengers to ask if Jesus was what they were all looking and hoping for. Smack dab in the middle of miraculous healings, and wondrous miracles, the guy who was s’pose to be preparing the way, was wondering if this was the right guy and the right way.
Jesus response to him was, “You tell me, what do you see and hear happening?” Then Jesus recounted the miracles that were happening:
- the blind receive their sight
- the lame walk
- lepers are cleansed
- the deaf hear
- the dead are raised up
- the poor have heard the good news
And then, He added, “And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”
Why is this powerful phrase included with the events of the miraculous healings and actions of Jesus?
First, let’s look at what offended in this text means.
“Offended” in the Greek here means:
” skandalizo” = a stumbling block, tripped over. Entangled, annoyed, find displeasure, make indignant.”G 4624 Strong’s Concordance
Could it be that miraculous healings will trip people up? Would some people be annoyed by what Jesus asks them to do for their healing? Would there be those who get angry by the way God does things when healings and demon evictions start happening? Would some dare call healing services and meetings scandalous?
Look at these bible examples before you answer.
- Naaman the leper- was annoyed that he had to go and dip in the Jordan River. 2 Ki. 5
- the disciples were trippin’ (offended) that Jesus told them they would eat His flesh. John 6
- the rich, young, displeased, ruler, turned and walked sadly away. Mat. 19
- King Herod seized and killed John because John challenged him. (THAT’S anger!) Mt. 14
- Ananias & Sapphira, entangled in greed, lied about a property cost to keep more of the money. Acts 5
- The Saducees and Pharaisees were constantly annoyed and angry at Jesus for something that He did or said. The Gospels
- Paul & Barnabus were threatened by unbelieving Jews who also stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned people’s minds against the brothers. Acts 14
- Jews mocked the Apostles. Acts 17
So, what say you? Could it be that when God moves that there will be those who are offended?
Lest we shovel the blame out there, on some unsuspecting reader, let’s look within.
If I am being honest, here are some things that God has told me, that I still trip over and sometimes get annoyed with:
- love & forgive my enemy
- deny my own way
- seek Him 1st, not 2nd or 3rd
- don’t try to figure it out (my own understanding)
If Jesus is Lord of my life and God is ruler of the universe (and they are), then the chances are we are gonna have our wills cross, don’t you think? That is “picking up the cross daily” part of our Christian walk.
But here’s Jesus’ point in the text of Luke 7. Jesus is listing all of these fabulous, life-altering miracles – all of which everybody should be celebrating. Geesh, the lame are walking! The blind just saw his daughter for the first time! The demon possessed woman has been freed and in her right mind! Oh, and that guy won’t be needing his grave just yet, he’s gonna be here a while longer! These are all headlines not only worth noting, but extolling.
And for one last entry, Jesus adds, (my slant), “Don’t get offended and all tripped up or annoyed about the way I heal and perform miracles.” Don’t let the way it happens, or the length of time it takes to happen, or the one’s He uses to make it happen, or even where it happens be considered scandalous by YOU.
Jesus is saying, Don’t allow yourself to be offended by what I do. The way I do it. Who I do it to. Who I use to do it. Where I choose to do it. You wanna know if I’m the one everyone has been looking for and hoping for…?
LOOK AT THE MIRACLES that are happening.
Oh dear reader, call me crazy if you want, but I firmly believe we are living in the days of God’s miraculous. He is still a God who heals, delivers and makes people whole and free. He is moving in miracles, signs and wonders today, and there will be those who are on board and involved with what He is doing, celebrating every healing and sharing it. They are those who are blessed.
And there will be those who are offended and call what God is doing a scandal.
Which group will you be in?