“He said to his disciples, ‘Offenses will certainly come, but woe to the one through whom they come!’” (Luke 17:1)
The Greek word translated as offense is skandalon. Later in the NT, the word skandalon is used to describe Jesus. The idea of the Son of God dying on a cross is scandalous; it is a stumbling block or a rock of offense to many (see 1 Peter 2:8).
Skandalon is an interesting word Jesus chose to describe an offense. You see, originally, that word referred to the part of a trap to which bait was attached. Think of a fisherman’s lure.
Offense is the bait of the trap…the lure. It’s the temptation to take offense, to want revenge. Paul warned Timothy not to take the bait of offense: “The Lord’s servant must not quarrel, but must be gentle to everyone, able to teach, and patient, instructing his opponents with gentleness. Perhaps God will grant them repentance leading them to the knowledge of the truth. Then they may come to their senses and escape the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.” (2 Timothy 2:24–26)
If we take the bait of offense, we will fall into the snare or trap of the devil. We’ll be taken captive by him to do his will. NONE of us wants to fall into the devil’s trap, right?!
But that is precisely what Satan desires. He wants you to die having never known your purpose. He’d love nothing better than to take you with him to hell. That’s his plan for you. Of course, if you belong to Jesus he can’t, but that doesn’t mean he’ll give up. He just changes tactics a little. You may be destined to heaven, but he’ll try make you as ineffective as possible here on the earth. He’ll use the bait of offense to keep you miserable and unproductive.
Jesus warned us, “Offenses will certainly come….” So the question is, how do we respond? How do we respond when others offend us? When we offend others?
That’s the topic of my message Sunday as we continue our series on relationships, “Nobody’s Perfekt.” Hope to see you there!