“Then the disciples came and said to Him, ‘Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this statement?'” (15:12).
Not everything Jesus says is easy to understand, and some may even find it downright offensive. Jesus knew He may offend some, but that did not deter Him. He was not appealing to the court of popular opinion or political correctness. His piercing arrows of truth were targeted directly at the heart of man.
“After Jesus called the crowd to Him, He said to them, “Hear and understand. 11 It is not what enters into the mouth that defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man… 17 Do you not understand that everything that goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and is eliminated? 18 But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man,” (15:10-11, 17-18) .
Jesus always spoke sinless, undefiled and perfect truth, words proceeding from His sinless, undefiled and perfect heart. “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me,'” (John 14:6) …and sometimes, the sinful, defiled heart of man is offended.
Consider Him Who May Offend
He May Offend when He speaks truth about man.
“And He answered and said to them, ‘Why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? … 7 You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you: 8 “This people honors Me with their lips,
But their heart is far away from Me.
9 But in vain do they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men,”‘” (15:3, 7-9).
He May Offend when He speaks truth about Himself.
“But she came and began to bow down before Him, saying, ‘Lord, help me!’ 26But He answered and said, ‘I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel…’ 26 And He answered and said, ‘It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs,'” (15:24, 26).
How do we respond to Him Who May Offend?
Every word we hear from Jesus has potential to offend. Truth often hurts. We really have only two options:
- Will we be like the Pharisees, holding to our own opinions over His, and reject His truthful discipline?
- “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this statement?” (15:12).
- Will we be like the Canaanite woman, receiving His truth with great faith and in abject humility, even when it hurts?
- “And He answered and said, ‘It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.’ 27 But she said, ‘Yes, Lord; but even the dogs feed on the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.’ 28 Then Jesus said to her, ‘O woman, your faith is great; it shall be done for you as you wish.’ And her daughter was healed at once,” (15:26-28).
Jesus knew He May Offend, Truth often does. May we we never be offended when He targets our hearts through His sinless, undefiled and perfect truth; for He has promised to bless when we choose to trust Him in humility and faith.
“And blessed is he who does not take offense at Me,” (Matthew 11:6).