Summary: Did you know that God cannot perform a miracle in our life if we allow offenses to rule it? This lesson will show you how to rid your life of offenses as well as how not to be one.
Text: Matthew 13:53-58
Verse 57 says that they were offended at Him. Why? Because they could not believe that He was the Son of God.
I want us to look at this word “offense” today. What does it mean? What does the Word say about it?
First, we must define the word: Offense.
Webster’s II, New Dictionary defines the word “offend” as:
“v. 1. To arouse resentment, anger, or vexation in. 2. To be displeasing (to). 3. To commit a sin.”
As for “offense”, the dictionary defines it as:
“n. 1. The act of offending or the state of being offended. 2.a. A breach of a social or moral code. b. a crime. 3. The act of attacking. 4. The side that is attacking in a game or contest.”
So, when we think of this word, we can think of it as an offense, or an offense.
In our text, Jesus’ very own home-town people were offended by His ministry. That’s why He said that “a prophet is without honor in his own country…”
Now, Jesus had just said, in Matthew 11:6, “Blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.”
An offense is a stumbling block. When we are offended, if the offense comes at us, their purpose is to cause us to stumble. The reason the devil hits us with offenses is to cause us to stumble. Webster even told us that to purposely offend someone is to commit a sin. But, what does God’s Word say of it?
Let’s look together.
First of all, let’s look at what His word says about being the offender.
I. Being the Offender
A. Turn to Matthew 18:5-7
1. “Woe to the one by whom offense comes.
2. God help the offender.
1. When Paul was facing conviction of a crime, he said: “For if I am an offender, or have committed anything deserving of death, I do not object to dying; but, there is nothing in these things of which these men accuse me…” (Acts 25:11)
2. He Became All Things
“…Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God, 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. Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.” (I Corinthians 10:33, 11:1)
II. To Be The Offended
A. Why are we so easily offended sometimes?
“Therefore hear the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the Word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside. But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the Word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has not root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the Word, immediately he stumbles (is offended).”
B. What happens when we are offended?
1. Let’s look back at our text. Matthew 13:58 says, that because of their offense, “He did not do many works because of their unbelief.”
2. God cannot perform a miracle in our life if we allow offenses to rule it.
C. Why do offenses come?
1. Jesus said, in Luke 17:1, that it is “…impossible that no offenses should come…” In other words, you can’t get around it.
2. He also said, in Matthew 18:7, that “…offenses must come…”
D. What do I do if I’ve been offended by someone?
1. First, what you don’t do, if gossip! And, you don’t go tell your Pastor everything!
2. Instead, listen to Jesus’ words in Matthew 18:15-17, 20: Jesus said: “…if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him become to you like a heathen…For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”
3. Or, listen to what He says in Matthew 5:23-26:
“…if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge (will) hand you over to the officer, and you (will) be thrown in prison. Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there until you have paid the last penny.”