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Offended? Take Heed to Yourself!

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Introduction

Text
Luke 17:1–4 NKJV
Then He said to the disciples, “It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.”

Definition

Most Common idea

a stumbling-block, obstacle
things that offends us or hurts our feelings
Offense -
Offend - to cause to feel upset, annoyed or resentful

Original Meaning

Grk. skandalon - a trap; originally, the name of the part of a trap to which a bait is attached, hence, the trap or snare itself.
a trap -
Grk. skandalizo - (v.) to put a snare or stumbling-block in the way; to cause to stumble
Note - “scandal” - (Dictionary) an action or event regarded as morally or legally wrong and causing public outrage

Key Questions

why do offenses come or happen?
what can we do to overcome offenses?

Main Points

Offenses do come!

Luke 17:1 NKJV
Then He said to the disciples, “It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come!

This world is full of offenses

Matthew 18:6–7 NKJV
“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!
Matthew 18.6-7

Offenses come in different forms

Sin is a common offense ()
the Truth can also be an offense
John 6:60–61 NKJV
Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, “This is a hard saying; who can understand it?” When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, “Does this offend you?
Matthew 15:10–12 NKJV
When He had called the multitude to Himself, He said to them, “Hear and understand: Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.” Then His disciples came and said to Him, “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?”

Offense is a personal matter

Take heed to yourselves!

Luke 17:3 NKJV
Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.
Anything - sin or otherwise - only becomes an offense because it has affected your heart
“Take heed” means “beware” - beware of yourself!
Because we cannot get rid of offenses, we need to be careful how we respond to offenses.
We need to be careful how we respond to offenses

There are wrong responses to offenses

Condemning the person without giving a chance for explanation or redemption
when we are hurt, we judge the offender outright and close the story
Example
Matthew 13:55–57 NKJV
Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judas? And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this Man get all these things?” So they were offended at Him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house.”
Matthew 13.55-57
Building walls between us and the person
when we are hurt, we build walls between us and the offender, instead of reconciling with the person
Proverbs 18.19
Proverbs 18:19 NKJV
A brother offended is harder to win than a strong city, And contentions are like the bars of a castle.

The right responses to offenses

to hide their own failure behind

(1) If a brother sinned against you...

Luke 17:3 NKJV
Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.
Luke 17.
Rebuke him
Grk. epitimao, to put honor, to admonish, to warn
Rebuke - to speak so that what is done is stopped
Matthew 8:22 NKJV
But Jesus said to him, “Follow Me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”
Matthew 8:26 NKJV
But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.
Luke 9:55 NKJV
But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of.
Romans 15:14 NKJV
Now I myself am confident concerning you, my brethren, that you also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.
2 Thessalonians 3:14–15 NKJV
And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.
2 Thessalonians 3.
Forgive him
If he repents...
Forgive means “stop blaming or taking offense into account”
Forgive as often as needed!
Luke 17:4 NKJV
And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.”
Ephesians 4:32 NKJV
And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
Colossians 3:13 NKJV
bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.
Colossians 3.13
Learn God’s purpose
Some offenses are meant for a greater good!
Joseph was offended by his brothers
Genesis 50:20 NKJV
But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.
Genesis 50.
Romans 8:28 NKJV
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
David was mocked by Shimei
2 Samuel 16:9–11 NKJV
Then Abishai the son of Zeruiah said to the king, “Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Please, let me go over and take off his head!” But the king said, “What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? So let him curse, because the Lord has said to him, ‘Curse David.’ Who then shall say, ‘Why have you done so?’ ” And David said to Abishai and all his servants, “See how my son who came from my own body seeks my life. How much more now may this Benjamite? Let him alone, and let him curse; for so the Lord has ordered him.

(2) If something does not appeal to your taste...

Keep it in your heart!
Don’t be bitter about it
Bring it to God in prayer
Luke 2:49 NKJV
And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”
Luke 2:51 NKJV
Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them, but His mother kept all these things in her heart.
Luke 2.49
Learn to accept things as they are
know that not all things will go on as you want them
allow others to be and do as they are before God

Conclusion

Let God judge the person who offends us.
Our duty is to admonish and forgive in Christ!
Taking offenses carefully and wisely is a sign of spiritual maturity.
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