Recently, a newspaper in Denmark ran a contest for people to draw cartoons depicting the prophet, Mohammed. This has caused rioting throughout the Moslem world because they are offended by the cartoons.
- Do not Offend
Jesus paid a temple tax in order not to be offensive even though, he explained he didn’t need to pay because he was the son of God. There was controversy involved with this tax so Jesus said there was no need to cause unnecessary conflict and trouble.
1 Cor. 10:31-33
Paul says the underlying principle is to not give offense if you don’t have an absolute command from God to follow. Paul wanted as many people as possible to be saved. He wanted to be able to develop the relationship to the point to be able to bring them to God. 2 Cor. 6:3, James 3:17-18
Sometimes we have to give up what we want to build that relationship with others.
- Yet, Jesus Offended
Jesus was criticized because the disciples were not following the Jewish Pharisees’ traditions. Jesus told them that they were going against God. In this situation, Jesus was speaking a necessary truth of God to these Pharisees. God works in our lives to uproot spiritual problems in our lives. The mission is to save souls.
Jesus is straight forward when he condemns sin. Jesus wanted these people to be saved so he showed the sin their lives.
Jesus aggressively tells people the truth about their lives and motivations.
Many of his disciples left him because of the truth he spoke.
Today we need to decide through prayer and study how to approach people. Our mission is to seek the lost.
- Seeking to Save
If it is time to bend we should have the humility to do that. If we need to speak the truth we need to be close to God.
We need to be cautious when it comes to using violence. In the story of Jesus, those that oppressed him used violence. We must judge our own motivations and pray that God’s will is done.
- Intentions of the Heart
1 Cor. 4:5
God knows every motivation. God will judge us all.
—Robert Lee, 2-12-06, p.m.