“Jesus, didn’t you know your words would offend them?” Obviously, the disciples reasoned, if the Lord knew that the truth he spoke would offend then he would not have spoken it, right? No, our meek and lowly Jesus still spoke the truth even when he knew it would offend the hearers.
The story I am referring to is one that was covered Sunday in our women’s class taken from Matthew 15. The scribes and Pharisees came to Jesus accusing the disciples of breaking the tradition of the elders by not washing their hands before eating. Jesus answered the accusation by asking the religious why they would break the commands of God by their traditions. There are many lessons in this text.
The first lesson is that we better be careful when we accuse other Christians. Simply put, Revelations 12:10 tell us that Satan is “the accuser of the brethren”. Unless we want to line ourselves up with him we should consider every accusation carefully.
Another lesson learned is this. The truth will offend those who oppose it. Those that are blind and walk in darkness hate the light. Those that love wickedness and evil hate all that is good and wholesome. Those that love lies hate the truth. And those with sinful, hypocritical hearts hate it when their hypocrisy is revealed. But, the Bible in Psalms 119:165 says that, “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.” If you love the Words of God you will not be offended when truth is spoken. I think that is the reasons so many are offended today, even professing Christians. They simply do not love the Words of God. Oh, they will say they believe the Bible and that they love God’s Words but when it comes down to it their actions declare loudly that they do not. Great peace waits for those who love God’s law. There sure are a lot of Christians walking around today without God’s perfect peace that passes all understanding.
There are many other lessons from this story. And if you haven’t read it lately why don’t you make a point to read Matthew 15 today. But the final lesson I want to share is found in verse 12-14.
“Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying? But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.”
Jesus declares what will happen to those who refuse to hear His Words. They will be rooted up… “Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” (Mat 7:19-21)
He also said to “let them alone…” There is a principle of not casting pearls before swine (Matthew 7:6) and shaking the dust off your feet (Luke 9:5). Sometimes people will just not hear. Their ears are stopped. Jesus had a perfect ministry. He was the perfect preacher. Every word he spoke was perfect and many still did not hear Him. Many refused to listen. Why do we think that as (imperfect) Christians that everyone will listen to us? Why do we think that just because we have the truth that people will understand? Only those with open eyes and ears to hear will listen to the truth. Only those who love the law of God will not be offended by His Word. Proverbs 23:9 says, “Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words.”
He explained that they are blind leading the blind… “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” (2Co 4:3-4)
If the stories we read from Scripture do not have practical application to our lives today, they are just stories. But God’s Word is much more than just stories. It is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword (Hebrews 4:12). And it is given by inspiration of God for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16).
Those that love the law and have ears to hear, let the precious Word of God mold and shape you and give you perfect peace. And may the lessons from our Lord encourage us to keep standing on His truth.