Saturday, April 14, 2012
Radical (Scandalous Savior: The Radically Righteous Jesus!)
And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me. Luke 7:23
In Luke 24 (one of my favorite passages of scripture) demonstrates the difficulty of losing our agendas--the seemingly legit ones--to the plan of God.
Offended (Grk): Skandalan (reacting negatively to something)
If we truly believed who Jesus claimed to be---it’d change lives...situations..attitudes...priorities...success...and our world!
Skandalan means trap or snare...it’s not merely anger...it’s something that clamps down on your ankle and won’t let you go! A trap NEVER releases itself*
➣Cleopas? (When did he get off track?!) Why wasn’t Galilee on his itinerary?
When did people notice that they’d fallen off the wagon? Men like:
- Peter? (When did he stop following Jesus?! He was clearly conflicted his discipleship then convicted by his abandonment of Jesus.)
- Judas? (When did he get off track?! He gets only bad press, however, he demonstrated remorse...which is MORE than what I see in MANY Christians concerning their blatant repeated sins.)
- Other disciples? Why didn’t they believe the women?
☞The sad thing is that these men may have very well been followers at one time.
- These followers turned out to really be groupies.
Followers adhere. Followers know those who they are following.
Groupies show up. They hope to be noticed by those they’re groupying.
The individual, or group of individuals, involved in obsessive adoration of entertainers such as musicians, actors, athletes, and even political figures. Behaviors are juvenile and influenced oftentimes by crush-like emotions or lustful sentiments...Most commonly viewed as consumed by their interest, as opposed to the normal realm of enjoyment experienced by the great majority of public.
▻And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives And Jesus saith unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered. But after that I am risen, I will go before you into Galilee. Mark 14:26-28 (KJV)
- Jesus wrestled so that he wouldn’t be offended (or, disobey)
- When we say yes to God, we see the light. When we say no, deception pursues.
▻So he replied to the messengers, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Blessed is anyone who does not stumble (reject me) on account of me.” After John’s messengers left, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swayed by the wind? Luke 7:22-24 (NIV)
❆There was a lot of doubt that arose over Jesus’ ministry, promises and declarations. People like John wanted to really know because their very lives were staked upon this truth. When one really claims to believe Who Jesus claims to be, it is life changing.
▻ Background Scripture re: Being Offended by God
As it is written: “Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense, And whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” Romans 9:33
...They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed. 1 Peter 2:8
Peter said to Him, “Even if all are made to stumble, yet I will not be.” Mark 14:29
☞John 6:51-61 (I am the living bread...this is a hard saying...Does this offend you?)
☞Jesus is saying in Luke 7.23 “ I have accepted you and loved you. Now let me be me. Let me do me and don’t be offended by it.”
*Perhaps this is why the Peter, Judas, Cleopas ignored Jesus’ instruction to believe and to meet him in Galilee...perhaps they were offended my his choice of actions.
- Peter was tough, rugged, non-subtle and a go-getter. Perhaps Jesus continual reference to crucifixion and death seemed week to him.
- Peter rebuked Jesus for talking about death
- Peter told Jesus “Ok..let the attackers come...I’ll back you up (i.e. there’s no boogyman underneath the bed...I’ll check.)
- Moses and Elijah appear to Jesus, John, James & Peter. Perhaps Peter thought “Are you happy now?” or, “feel better about things now?”
- Peter cut off the high priest’s servants ear...
- You’re fighting for yo’ boy...and he’s picking daisies and hugging trees---but not fighting for himself. This is very disheartening for a man.
- Judas was chosen by Jesus. He must’ve brought some value to the team, right?
- Perhaps when Jesus let that woman take a bottle of perfume that was worth a year’s salary and rub it on his crusty feet....Judas got salty because Jesus was playing with his money!
John told his disciples to ask “Are you the one....?”
We don’t know exactly what these folks were thinking, however, we know that Jesus pursued Peter & Cleopas and Thomas...because his Kingdom (the word enterprise is not vast nor accurate enough to describe what he was inaugurating) depended about their total adherence, unfeigned love, undying loyalty and obedience!!
☞He did what he needed to do to assure people that not only were they following the right one...they were following The Righteous One!
*If we start becoming offended by the way Jesus does things, we’ll never make it in faith. He stated:
Isaiah 55:7-9 (NKJV)
7 Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon. 8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord 9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.
☞What does scripture say we to do if we are offended by someone? Leave our gift that we are offering God and get it right.
☞Many of us will not progress if we continue to be offended by Jesus. Your cornerstone will become your stumbling block if his ways and standards cause us to not want to follow him.
- In what area of your life are you most prone to be offended by Jesus and his teachings? (Financial Stewardship? Disciplined Living? Forgiveness? Unity? Faith? Personal Holiness? Being Critical and Judgmental?)
- What happens to your spiritual walk when you’re offended by Jesus?
- Wrestle with understanding what role trust must play in your healthy relationship with Jesus.
- Commit yourself to Prayer, fellowship, introspection and accountability to help you become freed from your trap of offense.