Blessed are the offensive, for they are like Jesus.

Maybe Jesus really is the One.  If he is, John the Baptist needs to know.

Sitting in prison (see Luke 7), it became John’s driving question.  Is this guy the one?  Either he is and is worth dying for, or he is a lunatic in which case we need to keep looking. Maybe find someone who ticks off fewer people.  John sends a few of his students to Jesus to ask the question.  Before anyone gets further down the road, they need fresh assurances.

Those disciples of John find Jesus and ask him who exactly he is and he says, “You tell John this. You tell him the blind see, the lame walk, people are hearing good news about the Kingdom of God for a change, and it is downright scandalous. And God bless the ones who are not offended by that.”

I love Jesus for that response. There he was, standing in the middle of a marketplace healing people and talking to people and loving people. And the whole time, he gets it that healing and preaching and doing the work of the Kingdom is probably offending more people than it is attracting. Jesus gets the irrationality of that. He gets the danger of it. Jesus gets the weirdness of it. Of how easy it is to heal someone and offend someone in the same breath. Maybe even the same person.

Jesus gets that sometimes people will do their very best and will give their all and will pour out their hearts and will still offend someone. Will offend someone they had no idea they were offending. Will offend someone they don’t even know … period. Because good news isn’t good for those who would rather not be whole.

Jesus gets it that in this life, there will be offense taken and hot air blown and houses battered. There will be battles fought in spiritual places and mean spirits coming after us, who plan to huff and puff and blow us down. You’d better have a strong foundation, Jesus says. You’d better make sure you dig down deep and build your house on the rock. Otherwise, you’ll be blown away by all those offended spirits.

Blessed is the one who is not offended by that. The odd one. The rare one. The crazy one.

And I want to thank Jesus for all the ways he so beautifully speaks directly into my life, just by the way he lived his. I want to thank him for all the things he gives me permission to feel and say and live. Thank you, Jesus, for telling me before I needed to know it that sometimes I will offend people just like you did. And that it doesn’t necessarily mean I’m offensive … at least not every time. It might simply mean that — like you — I unlatched a Kingdom gate when someone wasn’t ready to walk through it.

Blessed is the one who is not offended by me.

Blessed is Jesus. What a friend.

Carolyn Moore

I follow Jesus within the communities of Mosaic Church, Asbury Seminary and the Moore household.

4 thoughts on “Blessed are the offensive, for they are like Jesus.

  1. Rev. Moore,
    Thanks for your post.
    I think holiness, especially the holiness of Jesus, has an offensive nature to it in two ways.
    First, it is offensive in that it means transformation. It means change and as so many people in congregations say over and over, “We don’t like change.” All that is extremely ironic for Methodists because that has been our charge from the beginning, to be transformed by the Spirit and to transform. From beginning to end it has been metanoia, the grace (with the Means of Grace) moving us more and more into the likeness of Jesus Christ. And, as Wesley teaches us, this comes by Grace which is miraculous. God’s energies released upon us.
    Second, it is offensive to many because, while it is miraculous, for many of us it does come bit by bit. The Spirit works like Michelangelo, blowing away sediment bit by bit until the life within the block is revealed.
    Grace is an offensive doctrine, but it is all we have.

    1. Good word, Randy. You are right. We serve a dynamic God who has designed us in his likeness. We are designed for transformation and dynamic growth, but our fallen nature pushes against this. The trick is getting out in front of the uncomfortable feelings so we can see where God is moving.

  2. I love this, as I do all your blogs, but this one especially since you prefaced it on Facebook as being for your clergy friends. I realize there are clergy who have basically dropped the word “sin” from their sermons in order not to offend anyone. To me that is a sin! Personally, I want to be offended though I usually use the word convicted. I want my pastor, (and my current one does beautifully), to prompt me to change my ways in areas I may have slipped into and not be conscious of particularly. As I said, I usually use the word “convict” but I think the word “offend” is the same in this instance and I love it. You convicted/offended me mightily during the Loaves of Faith series and I loved it! I had to say “ouch” often but I loved it. That’s the way a preacher is supposed to do and I thank you that you are one of those who preaches truth whether it “offends” or not. That is why so many have come to faith in Jesus Christ through you! Praise God for the instrument of His you are!

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