Jesus - Offensive

Who Do You Say I AM  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Good Morning… Welcome to New Hope

to irritate, annoy, or anger; cause resentful displeasure in
We’re in the middle of this series - Who do you say I AM - all about being a disciple. It’s our desire to do more than simply attend church, but we must be the church. It’s our mission to be a church of disciples who make other disciples. Being a disciple, for us at New Hope, means becoming more like Jesus. In order to become more like Jesus we need to know His character & nature. So what we’ve been saying over the past few weeks is that Jesus is OBEDIENT, FORGIVING, LOVING, & GENTLE.
to affect disagreeably
to violate or transgress (a criminal, religious, or moral law).
This morning’s character trait is a little different. We’ll get to it in just a few minutes...
doing something that makes another person resent you
It seems as though today we live in a culture of offenses. People love to share when they’ve been offended. It’s as if sharing our offenses are more important than paying a compliment or being encouraging.
To be offended means that we’ve been irritated, annoyed, angered, or brought to resentful displeasure. Someone has done something that makes us have resentment towards them. Let me just pause and ask a question - Who controls whether or not they’ve been offended? Is it the offender or offendee?
We've all been there - offended or hurt by the actions of someone - angered by selfish behaviors, we’ve been irritated, annoyed, or angered by what someone has said, we’ve held resentment in our hearts because of what someone did or didn’t do. Someone took your seat at the ballgame; Someone spoke freely without first thinking about how it might sound; Someone was in a hurry and cut you off on the way to church; Someone didn’t reach out when you needed them; Someone posted something on social media; Someone made a political statement you don’t agree with; someone sat in the seat right in front of you at the movie theater when 167 other seats were available! There are times when I wasn’t even aware that I should have been offended until someone told me to be.
I'm convinced that there are people who are actively looking to find the next offense; hoping to call out the great injustice; hoping to be made out as the victim; hoping to gain consensus & support from this always-connected culture we live in.
But you don't have to look far, because offenses are easily found. Companies don’t always follow through on the service they promote, leaders make decisions we don’t like, Christians don’t always act like Jesus, Pastors can’t say yes to everything, churches don’t always live up to expectations, Parents have to set rules, Cops issue tickets, teachers use red ink grading papers, politicians…We’ll leave that one there, everyone offends, and anyone can be offended.
In fact, there may be no greater offender than Jesus himself. It seems as though no matter what side you're on, Jesus has a way of being offensive.
An article posted at www.thegospelcoalition.org titled "Give Me the Doubly Offensive Jesus, Please," points out that Jesus offends because of how inclusive He is (all-in, open, public, anyone/everyone welcome), AND because of how exclusive He is (restricted, limited, private, only a select few) Man, Jesus can’t win, can He.
The world is offended by His exclusivity; the religious is offended by His inclusivity.
Jesus is too exclusive (says the world) in that He says, "I am the way, the truth, & the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." Jesus also says, "You can enter God's Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.” This offends people.
Jesus is too inclusive (says the religious) In that He won't write off or condemn the common sinner. In there’s a woman caught in the very act of adultery. “The law of Moses said to stone her. What do you say, Jesus?” The religious were trying to trap Jesus and pressed Him for a decision. Jesus said, “Let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” When the religious leaders all fled, Jesus said, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you? No, Lord, she said. Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.” He’s too inclusive! This offends people.
He eats with tax collectors and prostitutes. He's not afraid of their houses. He's not disgusted by their impurity. He throws open the doors of the kingdom to sinners of all kinds, and rails against the religious for their self-righteous barriers that they construct around the gospel. This offends people.
As you’re turning to … These words may be some of Jesus’ most surprising, if not shocking… He gathers his 12 disciples together, giving them authority to cast out evil spirits and to heal every kind of disease and illness, and giving them instructions as he sends them out. If you’d like to read them all, read the entire 10th chapter.
34“Don’t imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! I came not to bring peace, but a sword.
51Do you think I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I have come to divide people against each other!
He didn’t sugar coat what he was saying. He who has ears let him hear...
35‘I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.
36Your enemies will be right in your own household!’
Luke 12:52–53 NLT
From now on families will be split apart, three in favor of me, and two against—or two in favor and three against. ‘Father will be divided against son and son against father; mother against daughter and daughter against mother; and mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.’”
52From now on families will be split apart, three in favor of me, and two against—or two in favor and three against.
53‘Father will be divided against son and son against father; mother against daughter and daughter against mother; and mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.’”
Matthew 10:37-39
37“If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine.
38If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine.
39If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.
These words from Jesus seem offensive
51Do you think I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I have come to divide people against each other!
We must ask the question - Why? Should they be offensive? If we understand what Jesus is really communicating here. If we take into consideration the whole Word of God that tells us...
To honor our father & mother; Those who won’t care for their relatives have denied the true faith & are worse than unbelievers
That Jesus is referred to as the Prince of Peace; I have told you these things so in me you will have peace; Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts; make every effort to live in peace; the Lord blesses his people with peace
So what is Jesus referring to in these previous passages?
Very simply… Putting God First! We are called to put God first in every aspect of our lives.
We have an epidemic within the church. We have an epidemic within
53‘Father will be divided against son and son against father; mother against daughter and daughter against mother; and mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.’”
(NLT)
1Then God gave the people all these instructions:
2“I am the Lord your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt, the place of your slavery.
3“You must not have any other god but me.
The OT is riddled with admonishments warning the people to Put God First.
What did God’s people do?
What does this mean?
Constructed a tower (; Build this great city & tower for ourselves so that we can be famous & not scatter all over the world, which was what God told them);
What do we do?
Created a golden calf (As God was meeting with Moses on Mount Sinai the people got impatient & they created a golden calf, built an altar, held a celebration all in complete disobedience toward God);
We choose
Craft golden images;
Worshipped other gods (Time and time again we find God’s people worshipping other gods - Exodus, Deuteronomy, Joshua, 1&2 Kings, Jeremiah, Psalms);
Craft golden images; Create reputation
I could go on… Followed selfish desires; Pursued physical pleasures; Allowed other voices to win out;
Pursue guilty pleasures; Abuse pornography
Settle for sex outside of marriage
Who did Jesus reserve His harshest words for?
What do we do today? We put ourselves first - our wants, wished, desires; We put our careers first; We put our work first; We put our reputation first; We put our finances first; We put our retirement first; We put our children first; We put our family first;
Politics before God
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
We are not called to be offensive.
33Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
Doing what’s right can be lonely business.
What if we choose not to take up offense?
(NLT)
What if we choose to see offenders as broken people in need of God’s grace, and not as people who are out to get us?
54Then Jesus turned to the crowd and said, “When you see clouds beginning to form in the west, you say, ‘Here comes a shower.’ And you are right.
What if we stop relationships with people who constantly offend us?
55When the south wind blows, you say, ‘Today will be a scorcher.’ And it is.
What if we follow the example of JESUS, and extend grace and compassion towards those who hurt us?
56You fools! You know how to interpret the weather signs of the earth and sky, but you don’t know how to interpret the present times.
What if WE who are offended take the responsibility to let go of an offense?
57“Why can’t you decide for yourselves what is right?
What if we just get over being offended?
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