Luke 17:1 Then He said to the disciples, “It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come!
John 6:60 When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” 61 But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, “Do you take offense at this? 62 Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? 63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64 But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.) 65 And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.” 66 After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. 67 So Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” 68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, 69 and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”
Decisions Determine Your Destiny
A Pebble in your shoe: represents those offenses that if left unaddressed sideline you in your spiritual race. These painful offenses robs you of focus, causes constant pain, and could lead to potential lasting damage called bitterness
Bitterness starts as pain. It is cemented from a chronic and pervasive state of smoldering resentment and is one of the most destructive and toxic of human emotions. If we repeatedly dwell on how we’ve been hurt it will eventually come to define an essential part of who we are. It takes hold of our very personality causing us to become victims of our-SELF.
Three Pebbles in the shoes of the RELIGIOUS concerning Jesus
1) The Religious were OFFENDED at the dramatic WORKINGS of Jesus
A constant pebble in the shoe of the Pharisees was Jesus’s habit of healing on the Sabbath
(Mk 1:21) Cast an unclean spirit out of a man
(Mt 8:14-15) Healed Peter's mother-in-law, who had a fever
(Lk 6:6-11) Healed the man with the withered hand
(Lk 13:10-17) - Healed the crippled woman
(Lk 14:1-6) - Healed the man with dropsy
(Jn 9:1-7,14) - Healed the man born blind
(Jn 5:1-18) - Healed the lame man by the pool of Bethesda
John 5:8-15 The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. 16 And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath. 17 But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.”
Jesus Is Equal with God. 18 This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
They were so offended by this incredible miracle that rather than marvel at the remarkable works of Jesus, they sought to destroy him!
An offended spirit seeks to destroy what it doesn’t understand
2) The religious were offended by the DIVERSE WORKERS Christ chose
God doesn’t call the qualified; he qualifies the called. Each of us are unqualified… this is what makes us desirable to him.
2 Cor 4:6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.
Jesus was a friend of sinners, associated with rejects and rebels. His disciples were fishermen, tax collectors, zealots. This diverse group of misfits offended the religious elite.
Acts 4:13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.
God calls the least so that He might shine through them the most!
Important: When God uses a person it is not his endorsement of the Man, the Message or the Method. He shines through people - flawed, imperfect people.
3) The Religious were offended by the DIRECT WORDS of Christ
John 6: 66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.
Jesus didn’t pull punches… He came in both GRACE and TRUTH
Many want a LOVING LORD… few welcome the RIGHTEOUS JUDGE
Luke 20:17 But he looked directly at them and said, “What then is this that is written:
“‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone’?[c]
18 Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.”
The offended spirit seeks to delete the words they find offensive
How to Deal With Offense
When You Feel the Sting of Offense (The Pebble In Your Shoe)
WHAT not WHO is Offending Me.
Don’t put a face to the fight.
We wrestle not with flesh and blood
WHY are YOU offended?
Why do you feel this so deeply
Does this matter in light of eternity
HOW can I heal ?
What hurt needs to be healed?
What offense needs to be forgiven?
John 9:1 (Passion Translation) Afterward, as Jesus walked down the street, he noticed a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Teacher, whose sin caused this guy’s blindness, his own, or the sin of his parents?”
3 Jesus answered, “Neither. It happened to him so that you could watch him experience God’s miracle. 4 While I am with you, it is daytime and we must do the works of God who sent me while the light shines. For there is coming a dark night when no one will be able to work. 5 As long as I am with you my life is the light that pierces the world’s darkness.” 6 Then Jesus spat on the ground and made some clay with his saliva. Then he anointed the blind man’s eyes with the clay. 7 And he said to the blind man, “Now go and wash the clay from your eyes in the ritual pool of Siloam.” So he went and washed his face and as he came back, he could see for the first time in his life!
Translator notes: John has left us a book of pictures. The picture here is the mingling of spit and clay, a picture of the Christ who is God and man. The saliva comes from the mouth, the spoken Word, God incarnate. The clay is always a picture of man, for our human vessel is a jar of clay. No doubt, the blind man had heard people spit as they walked by him, as a sign of disgust, for in that day they believed blindness was caused by a curse. But this day, as he heard Jesus spit on the ground, it was for his healing.
Jesus used the sound (he was used to people spiting at him) that this man had associated with offense to become the very sound that signaled his healing!
Jesus promised offense would come. It’s what we do with the offense that heals or hurts.
Remember - Decisions Determine Destiny
The very sound of the offense could very well be the vessel Jesus uses to bring about your healing - take care how you handle your hurt.