Man, The Rationalizing Creature
It is said that man is the rational creature. Here we see that man is the rationalizing creature—and Jesus warns us against it.
Perhaps an example will make it clearer. Suppose you're the police officer, cleaning up a dreadful accident. Bodies litter the ground, and off to one side in handcuffs sits the drunk who caused it. "But officer," he explains, "it's not my fault. You should have known that someone would get drunk like this and try to drive." (Being a police officer requires a great deal of restraint.)
It's a common heresy—hey, sin is going to happen, there's a lot of it going around, I just happen to be the perpetrator this time, what's the problem? Your mother would not have accepted such an excuse, and neither will God Almighty. So why do we keep hearing it?
· Sin will happen. It's a fact, like death and taxes. But just because something is common doesn't make it right.
· That's no excuse. Indeed, it is less than an excuse, for if you see a problem that is common you should be well warned by it.
Sometimes we need the explicit warning, and that is what Christ is giving us here. Those who think that their sin is good because it causes the grace of God to abound more need to read these two verses.
Note, however, that Christ particularly refers to causing others to stumble. This is indeed a deadly thing, for if I sin for myself, there is the chance that I can ask forgiveness—but if I lead someone else astray, can I really lead them back? It's not easy.
This type of deadly sin is caused in two ways:
· Often, it is the "cool" leading the blind. If a bone through the nose becomes popular, we must have a bone through the nose. If being single and having a baby is cool, we must. you get the idea.
· Worse, however, is the case of the "righteous" leading the blind. When a spiritual leader takes his flock down the deadly path, the sin is very grave indeed.
Christ makes the point with bluntness. Is your life so valuable to you that you would sacrifice eternal life? Is the bone in the nose—or the pride in being so "spiritual" - worth so much that you would volunteer to go to hell for it?