By Toni Smothers
Scripture Reading: Matthew 11:2-11
Scripture Quote: Therefore, dear friends, since you have been warned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. 2 Peter 3:17 (NIV)
When Jesus walked on earth, he offended many people, even including John the Baptist, who pictured a fierier Messiah. Thank God that Jesus still continues to offend us. Christ offended John the Baptist by His gracious dealings with sinners. He rebuked the religious leaders of His day who prized pious rules over extending themselves in love to their fellow sinners. Christ continues to unnerve us today by saying that we must die to self, take up our cross and follow Him.
The rich young ruler was offended by Christ' admonition to sell everything that he had and give it to the poor. The Jews were scandalized by a dying Messiah and the Gentiles were confused by a God who would lay down His powers to descend to the level of humanity - And on and on it goes: many today are offended about Christ's teaching against divorce. In a world where over 60 percent of marriages end in divorce, this is an offensive teaching. Nevertheless, we are Christians and compelled to acknowledge all of God's teaching as infallible. Since we trust in a Savior that actually gave His life's blood to return us to the Father, we can choose not to be offended, but repent and be obedient to his law, resting in His joy and peace.
Today’s meditation: Be offended by evil, but learn from God’s Word.
Memory Verse: Offer the sacrifices of the righteous and trust in the LORD. Psalms 4:5 (NIV)