“And anyone who is not offended because of Me is blessed.” Luke 7:23

Jesus polarizes people.  You are either with Him or against Him.  There’s really no middle ground…unless the Jesus being presented is a fabrication or misrepresentation of the One and only.

John the Baptist was in prison.  He knew that He had been sent by God to prepare the way for the coming Messiah.  He had thought it was Jesus.  But something made him doubt.   So he sent some of his disciples to find out.

They went directly to Jesus and asked Him if He was the One.  Jesus responded by reminding them of the prophetic messianic passages in Isaiah 29:18-19 and 35:5-6 that He was fulfilling whenever He had healed the blind, the lame, the deaf, the diseased, and raised the dead.  He added that the poor were having the good news preached to them.

Then He wrapped up the discussion with the shocking but very true words, “anyone who is not offended because of Me is blessed.” The coming of Jesus shook up the religious establishment.  He came proclaiming the coming of the Kingdom of God.  The doorway into this Kingdom didn’t look like the one the religious authorities were directing people through and it made them mad to have their message contradicted and their authority compromised.

Access to this Kingdom would only be through Jesus because of His sacrificial death for sins and resurrection from the dead.  The way to Jesus would require humility and transparency, not a proficiency in Law-keeping.  Confession and repentance from sin would be required.  God’s grace would need to be received.  The changed life would follow one’s profession of faith, not precede it.

You can see why some would be blessed by this news.  One’s past and pedigree no longer impedes a spiritual transformation.  There is hope of forgiveness and a new life in Jesus.

But if you’re religious and think you’ve already figured out the way to God, this message from Jesus would be offensive because of it’s singularity and exclusivity.  You’ll be thinking, “How dare He think He is the ONLY way.”

So, rather than look for some way to transform this news into a WIN/WIN scenario by compromising the truth of who Jesus is or what He said, consider the facts as they are.  Jesus is the Son of God.  He died on a cross because we are sinners deserving judgment and death.  If we die for our sins, which is required by God’s righteous standard, it’s over.  There would be no way out of a permanent death and separation from God; unless you approach God on the terms set by Jesus.

But, if we confess our awful condition, admit our need, and receive the gracious gift of forgiveness God offers through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we can immediately become the recipients of an incredible gift – eternal life.

That, by the way, is the message to be delivered by every “fisher of men.”  Some are going to like it while others are offended.  Don’t let the critics keep you from passing on the good news to others.

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