KJV: Luke 17:1 Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come!
Luke 17:2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.
It is a part of the world that we live in but should not be something that we give in to.
Offense defined: annoyance or resentment brought about by a perceived insult to or disregard for oneself or one’s standards or principles.
Whether at home, work or play we have been offended and have managed to offend others.
Matthew 16:21 From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.
Matthew 16:22 Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!”
Matthew 16:23 But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”
Satan was offended at God and us
Satan is powerful, he caused one third of the angels to stumble / be offended
Skandalon [used above and throughout]
1) the movable stick or trigger of a trap, a trap stick
1a) a trap, snare
1b) any impediment placed in the way and causing one to stumble or fall, (a stumbling block,
occasion of stumbling), i.e. a rock which is a cause of stumbling
Offenses beget bigger problems
An offense is often the gateway to a another larger more serious problem
Sometimes it is not the perceived offense that is the problem, but what it leads to:
- Minor offenses cause major problems and can persist forever
- Offenses can escalate
- Personal level or bigger scale
- Countries presume that others are doing such and such…and maybe they are
- Next comes war.
The point is that, often offense is not the big issue but that it leads to bigger problems:
hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, untempered actions, malice, blasphemy, filthy language, etc.
Offense is in the world
This is how the world or society affects us and causes us to sin. We talk about the Self, Satan and Society, this is the society aspect:
Matthew 18:7 Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!
Jesus Christ emphasis on how bad this is
Matthew 18:8 “If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life lame or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the everlasting fire.
Matthew 18:9 And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire.
Idiomatic phrase. He is trying to show just how damaging offense can be.
It would be better to live without those implements of sin and offense than to miss out on the Kingdom of God.
Of course we know it is not the eye or hand that causes the offense, it is the person that gives in to carnality. Those ways and thoughts are what are to be rooted out.
The imperative that He gives us:
Matthew 18:10 “Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven.
We cannot be working to countermand the work of God!!!
Matthew 18:11 For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.
Matthew 18:12 “What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying?
Matthew 18:13 And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray.
Matthew 18:14 Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.
If we offend, there is a good chance that we can lead our brother astray and take him out of the race.
For this reason we are not to offend.
Do not offend
Romans 14:13 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall [skandalon; offense] in our brother’s way.
Romans 14:20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense.
Romans 14:21 It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak.
John 6:29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”
Are we willing to jeopardize the work of God for something so unimportant?
Notice once again Paul is addressing the same subject
1 Corinthians 8:1 Now concerning things offered to idols: We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies.
1 Corinthians 8:2 And if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know.
1 Corinthians 8:3 But if anyone loves God, this one is known by Him.
1 Corinthians 8:4 Therefore concerning the eating of things offered to idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other God but one.
1 Corinthians 8:5 For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords),
1 Corinthians 8:6 yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live.
1 Corinthians 8:7 However, there is not in everyone that knowledge; for some, with consciousness of the idol, until now eat it as a thing offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled.
1 Corinthians 8:8 But food does not commend us to God; for neither if we eat are we the better, nor if we do not eat are we the worse.
1 Corinthians 8:9 But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak.
1 Corinthians 8:10 For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols?
1 Corinthians 8:11 And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?
1 Corinthians 8:12 But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ.
1 Corinthians 8:13 Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.
Do we do this? What is our false temple meat? God says don’t be this way and it is up to us to figure out if this principle is relevant in our day to day lives. Are there things that we do that are offensive to others that we can avoid even if they are okay in God’s eyes?
1 Corinthians 10:23 All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify.
1 Corinthians 10:24 Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being.
1 Corinthians 10:25 Eat whatever is sold in the meat market, asking no questions for conscience’ sake;
1 Corinthians 10:26 for “THE EARTH IS THE LORD’S, AND ALL ITS FULLNESS.”
1 Corinthians 10:27 If any of those who do not believe invites you to dinner, and you desire to go, eat whatever is set before you, asking no question for conscience’ sake.
1 Corinthians 10:28 But if anyone says to you, “This was offered to idols,” do not eat it for the sake of the one who told you, and for conscience’ sake; for “THE EARTH IS THE LORD’S, AND ALL ITS FULLNESS.”
1 Corinthians 10:29 “Conscience,” I say, not your own, but that of the other. For why is my liberty judged by another man’s conscience?
1 Corinthians 10:30 But if I partake with thanks, why am I evil spoken of for the food over which I give thanks?
1 Corinthians 10:31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:32 Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God,
1 Corinthians 10:33 just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.
1 John 2:10 He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him.
Proverbs 18:19 A brother offended is harder to win than a strong city, And contentions are like the bars of a castle.
It is an act of laying down your life to do this
2 Corinthians 6:1 We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain.
2 Corinthians 6:2 For He says: “IN AN ACCEPTABLE TIME I HAVE HEARD YOU, AND IN THE DAY OF SALVATION I HAVE HELPED YOU.” Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.
2 Corinthians 6:3 We give no offense in anything, that our ministry may not be blamed.
2 Corinthians 6:4 But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God: in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses,
2 Corinthians 6:5 in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fastings;
2 Corinthians 6:6 by purity, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love,
2 Corinthians 6:7 by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,
2 Corinthians 6:8 by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true;
2 Corinthians 6:9 as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold we live; as chastened, and yet not killed;
2 Corinthians 6:10 as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.
2 Corinthians 6:11 O Corinthians! We have spoken openly to you, our heart is wide open.
2 Corinthians 6:12 You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted by your own affections.
2 Corinthians 6:13 Now in return for the same (I speak as to children), you also be open. (Like :11)
Jesus offended others
Now just to be clear we are talking about that which is not unlawful not to do!
In other words we are not breaking a command by not eating meat offered to idols.
But when it comes to what we have to do and it is an offense to man then we must do it!
Acts 5:29 But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men.
Act 5:42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.
God first then man, this is also the example Christ set
54 When He had come to His own country, He taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished and said, “Where did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works? 55 Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joses,[a] Simon, and Judas? 56 And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this Man get all these things?”57 So they were offended at Him.
But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house.” 58 Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.
12 Then His disciples came and said to Him, “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?”
We will offend others when we follow God, but let’s not offend others when it is not a matter of following God.
It should be very clear that we are to avoid offending others but we also need to avoid being offended
Do not be offended
Psalm 119:165 Great peace have those who love Your law, And nothing causes them to stumble.
John 11:9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world.
John 11:10 But if one walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.”
Colossians 3:12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;
Colossians 3:13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.
1 Corinthians 13:4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;
1 Corinthians 13:5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;
Ecclesiastes 7:21 Also do not take to heart everything people say, Lest you hear your servant cursing you.
Ecclesiastes 7:22 For many times, also, your own heart has known That even you have cursed others.
Should give us ability to do this:
Proverbs 11:12 He who is devoid of wisdom despises his neighbor, But a man of understanding holds his peace.
Act, don’t React
Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.
Romans 12:19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord.
Don’t let emotions dictate actions
Proverbs 14:17; 29:22; 21:19
Be slow to anger
Eccl 7:8-9; James 1:19
Especially because of Christ
Offended because of the Word
Matthew 13:20 But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy;
Matthew 13:21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.
Matthew 13:38 The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one.
Matthew 13:39 The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels.
Matthew 13:40 Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age.
Matthew 13:41 The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness,
Matthew 13:42 and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Satan is the true author
Matthew 11:6 And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.”
Are we any better than little kids?
When are we not offended?
Matthew 24:10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.
Philippians 1:9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment,
Philippians 1:10 that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ,
Philippians 1:11 being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
Let’s not cause our brother to stumble and if a snare has been laid for us — we can simply step over or go around it.