He was ‘un-offendable.’ Even to the point of driving nails into His hands ~ “Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do’” (Luke 23.34). The sin Satan uses to destroy the lives of most Christians is something that most believers don’t even know is a sin. It’s not because the Bible is silent on the matter. Much is written about this subtle device of the enemy; notwithstanding, it is so common among Christians that most people simply presume it is ok because they see so many others practice it. Nonetheless, in the spiritual realm it is a lethal weapon by which the enemy is able to administer deadly poison directly into the heart of those who are unaware. ~ “Lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices” (2Corinthians 2.11).
The Weapon of Choice
Jesus taught that the sin of ‘offence’ was Satan’s first tactic of choice to use against unsuspecting believers. He revealed that the enemy insidiously brings conflictive people with the specific intention of provoking the believer into contention and offense. ~ “These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness; and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble [offended]” (Mark 4.16,17).
In English the word ‘offense’ is the Greek word “σκάνδαλον (skandalon),” which is also translated ‘stumbling block’ in the Authorized Version Bible and means ‘the trigger’ of a trap or a ‘provocation’ to sin. In short, it means the devil will strategically plan and execute the best provocation possible to discourage and enrage the young Christian with the designed purpose of enticing the individual into committing mortal sins of hatred, unforgiveness and vengeance. The devil knows that the only law pending upon the believer in the New Testament is the law of love, so his most successful tool against the believer is to draw him out of love and into outright enmity, which has too easily been successful against most Christians. The Apostle writes ~ “Now the works of the flesh [Satan] are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told [you] in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5.19-21).
The spiritual fruit of ‘self-control’ and love will eventually deliver the child of God out of Satan’s trap of offense; however, the devil knows that it requires time for the believer to develop the fruits of the Spirit. The true Christian has only one1 enemy, the devil, and practices the words of the Messiah, who said, ~ “But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you” (Luke 6.27). Most contemporary Christians have a long list of enemies, of whom they openly slander even in the church in the presence of other sheep, which adds the sin of division to the sin of offense. In such cases, the biblical command is clear. ~ “Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them” (Romans 16.17).
The Trap of Satan
When you encounter someone who is caught in ‘the trap of Satan,’ remember the scripture says that such an individual is under the control of the devil. ~ “And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all…so that they may know the truth, and [that] they may come to their senses [and escape] the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to [do] his will” (2Timothy 2.24-27). In modern society it has become fashionable to be offended. If you happen not so share someone’s political agenda, it is now ‘vogue’ for the person to become ‘offended’ as a subtle form of protest. But, ~ “Walk prudently when you go to the house of God; and draw near to hear rather than to give the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they do evil” (Ecclesiastes 5.1). There is much to be said about this ‘unknown sin’ in scripture; nonetheless, suffice it to conclude with this: offense is nothing more than an ‘excuse’ to hate and attack instead of love2 and forgive—Jesus was never offended. He was ‘un-offendable,’ and so are those follow Him.
Great peace have those who love Your law, And nothing causes them to stumble.
1. Ephesians 6.12
2. John 13.34
© L. Jonathan Blais 2021 All rights reserved. Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission.