Doth This Offend You?

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TheDiscipleMd

We live in a ‘time of offending.’ It seems many of us get ‘offended’ over what other people think, say, and do. A careful study of history reveals to us that every age is a ‘time of offending.’ From the beginning becoming ‘offended’ has been with us. Cain was ‘offended’ when the Lord did not accept his less than heart-felt ‘offering’ leading to the first recorded murder. In the exchange between God and Cain he was told, ” If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door.” (Gen. 4:7)

God was explaining to Cain that if did well, he would be praised for so doing but if he wasn’t doing good things, he would be held accountable. Cain became ‘offended’ and turned from the Lord leading to him murdering his brother. It seems the nature of man from the beginning is to become ‘offended’ when he is corrected. Admitting that we conscientiously choose to do wrong things is something we don’t like to hear. It ‘offends us!’

Jesus Christ dealt with the same problem when he gave directions and commandments to the people of His day. John records that Christ gave a healthy sermon in the synagogue of Capernaum regarding his identity and what was required of those who were worthy to be His followers. In verse sixty and sixty-one it is recorded:

“Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you?” In verse sixty-six it says, “From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.”

Our Father, the Savior, and all the prophets from the beginning have said things that ‘offend’ many. But the question we should ask ourselves the next time we don’t like what the prophets have to say is the question asked by the Savior to the twelve way back then.

“Will ye also go away?” (John 6:67)

And if we decide to ‘go away’ a great follow-up question that was posed by Peter back then was:

“Lord, to whom shall we go?” (vs.68)

Peter answered his own rhetorical question with a resounding declaration of: “…thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.”

God has always used prophets throughout time to lead, guide, and direct his followers. They will always say things that ‘offend’ us. But if we listen with a contrite spirit we will recognize that the ‘words of eternal life’ are found therein, and we will swallow our pride and seek the will of our Father. By so doing this ‘eternal life’ of which Peter spoke, will be ours!

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