Christ came to change the world.
He came to love people in a way they had never experienced.
He came to bring light to darkness. And He came to shed that light on our sins and, in turn, offer us grace, forgiveness and redemption.
So why are we offended?
Partly, I believe it’s because we are resistant to change — especially the kind that reveals our sins and our weaknesses. And when our sins are called out, we find it offensive and we dig in for battle.
But this is nothing new to Jesus.
He’s been dealing with our insecurities and our offense to His presence since the beginning.
When Christ was in His mother’s womb, that was offensive to the culture. An unmarried virgin Jewish woman who was pregnant at that time was probably not welcome in most homes.
As a little baby living in the squalor of a stable, Christ was offensive to King Herod. So much so that Herod sent his soldiers to Bethlehem to kill all male children under the age of two to wipe out any thought or hint of another King — or, in this case, the Messiah.
When Christ began His earthly ministry in His early thirties, the Jewish religious leaders were offended when Jesus declared He was the Son of God. They were also offended because He healed people on the Sabbath. He also ate with tax collectors, talked to prostitutes, embraced lepers, and challenged authority.
Those in government and religious authority were offended when Jesus said things like “those who are last shall be first” or “give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”
People were offended by His humility. A leader who is a servant? A leader who doesn’t lie? How could that be?
His own siblings found offense in Him. They teased Him and, in the beginning, failed to recognize Him as the Savior.
His friends found offense when He called them out for their sins. Peter denied Christ, Thomas doubted Him, and Judas betrayed Him. And through it all, Christ loved them.
As He carried His cross to Golgotha, those who once cheered Him and praised Him changed their tune and began to spit at Him and hit Him and stone Him.
As Jesus was hemorrhaging and dying on the cross, His accusers and murderers were offended because He would not beg for His life — instead, He forgave them and loved them.
And three days after His death, Jesus Christ upended the world when He walked out of that tomb. And people have cried foul for more than 2,000 years!
So what is this all about?
Am I calling on Christians to offend people?
We’re called to be like Christ. And He didn’t come to offend.
He came to love. He came to serve. He came to offer everlasting life.
If we’re obedient to His commandments to pray, love others, serve others, and share the Good News of forgiveness, salvation and everlasting life through Christ, we’re moving in the right direction.
And, unfortunately, people will always find that offensive.
How will you be more like Christ today?