Luke 7:23
Blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me. It was simply inevitable that our Lord, if he laid himself out to do the very best and greatest that could be done, should be an offence to many. "Not to send peace, but a sword," was a purely incidental, but it was a necessary result of such faithfulness as he showed.

I. THE OFFENCE TO BE FOUND IN CHRIST.

1. The offence of the Messiahship. Our Lord offended John the Baptist (see preceding homily) by the quietness of his method and the slowness of his results. He offended Peter by foretelling the sorrows and the shame to which he was moving on (Matthew 16:22). He offended Nicodemus by the profundity of his teaching (John 3.). He offended the leaders of religion of his time by denouncing their formality and insincerity. He offended the people by preaching a doctrine too broad for their narrow-mindedness (Luke 4:28), too deep for their shallow-mindedness (John 6:52-66), too elevated for their earthly mindedness.

2. The offence of the cross.

(1) The memory of a crucified Nazarene was a stumbling-block to the Jew, who expected something very different from this dishonour (1 Corinthians 1:23).

(2) The story of a crucified Jew was foolishness to the Greek. With his venerable mythology, his honoured philosophy, his pride of patriotism, he was not prepared to put his trust in a malefactor executed in Judaea.

3. The offence of the kingdom. In one sense, "the offence of the cross" has ceased. It has become the symbol of all that is beautiful in art, refined in culture, strong in civilization. Yet is there everywhere, yet will there always be, something in Christ that will offend the human soul. For he requires of us that

(1) we empty our minds of preconceived ideas, and approach him with the docility of children (Matthew 18:3);

(2) we surrender every evil habit, however dear or valuable it may seem to us (Matthew 5:29);

(3) we give the first place in our thought and our affections to himself, making even our nearest and dearest human kindred occupy the second place (Luke 14:26);

(4) we find our recompense for faithful service in the spiritual and the eternal, rather than in the material and the temporal;

(5) we accept his Divine favour and enter his service as those who claim nothing and accept everything at his hand. Many are they who live in our land, who read our Christian literature, who sit in our sanctuaries, and who, for one of these reasons, are offended in Christ.

II. THE BLESSEDNESS or THOSE WHO DO NOT FIND IT; who come to learn of him in all docility of spirit; who cheerfully part with all that he condemns that they may follow him; who offer to him their undivided heart; who accept his service that they may receive a spiritual and a heavenly recompense. Blessed, indeed, are they; for:

1. Their hearts will be the home of a heavenly peace, and a joy which no man taketh from them.

2. Their life will rise to a noble height of sanctity, of beauty, of usefulness.

3. On their checkered course will fall the sunshine of their Master's blessing - his consecration of their joy, his overruling of their sorrow.

4. Their life will end in a calm and peaceful hope, which will pass into glorious fruition. Blessed, indeed, is he whosoever is not offended in Christ, but cordially accepts him as the Saviour of his spirit and the rightful Lord of his life. - C.







And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in Me.
1. Some are offended and stumble at Christ, on the pretence that there is not sufficient evidence of His Divine mission.

2. Some are offended in Christ because of circumstances connected with the Person and history of Christ Himself.

(1)His dignity and Godhead.

(2)His humiliation.

3. Some are offended in Christ because of His peculiar doctrines. They dislike mysteries, they say. But what is there which is not mysterious, when searched into very closely?

4. Some are offended at Christ because of His precepts, or the holy life which He requires them to lead.

5. Some are offended in Christ on account of the conduct of those who profess to be His followers. But, however lamentable such misconduct may be, it is unjust to impute it to Christ, or His gospel. We ought always to distinguish between the system and the inconsistencies of those who profess to hold it.

6. Many are offended in Christ because of the trials to which fidelity to Him would expose them.

(James Foote, M. A.)

1. A fatal stumble in the way to happiness, which many of the hearers of the gospel make. They are offended in Christ. They stumble at Him. Observe here, the object of their offence, Jesus Christ. It is at Him the world is offended. The God that made and guides the world, the Saviour that redeemed them, does not please the world. What wonder then that others cannot do it. There is something in the mystery of Christ, with which the unbeliever will always be finding fault. The world is unholy, and takes offence at Him. He is the brightness of His Father's glory: and they, like owls and bats, are blinded at the shining Sun, and therefore carefully keep at a distance from Him. They are offended. In the Greek, scandalized. Now the blind world, by reason of their own corruption, are thus offended or scandalized in Christ. "And He shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, to both the houses of Israel: for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken."

2. In the text there is the happiness of those who escape this fatal stumble. I shall show —

I.What it is to stumble at Christ and be offended in Him.

II.That stumbling at Christ abounds very much in the world.

III.That they are happy indeed who are kept from being offended in Him. And then add some improvement.

I. To SHOW WHAT IT IS TO STUMBLE AT CHRIST, AND BE OFFENDED IN HIM. This is a very awful matter. For a man to die of his disease, when he might have been cured, is sad; but it is a double death for one to destroy himself by the abuse of a remedy prescribed that would have cured him infallibly. It has reference to four things in the general.

1. To the grand device of salvation through Jesus Christ, laid in the infinite wisdom of God, and fixed by the Divine counsel. And at this the unbelieving world ever stumbles, and their hearts can never fall in with it.

2. To the offer of Christ made in the gospel. To be the sinner's Head, Lord, and Husband. To be their Prophet, Priest, and King, their all and instead of all. But sinners love not the offer, they stumble at His offices.

3. To the making use of Christ for all the purposes for which the Father has given Him.

4. To the practical understanding of sinners. They ever form a wrong judgment of Christ, and nothing less than overpowering grace will rectify their apprehensions of Him. This stumbling at Christ lies in these four things.(1) The blind soul ever finds some fault in the mystery of Christ. There is always something in or about Christ that disgusts the sinner, is quite disagreeable and shocking to him. The Son of God is not a match suitable to those whose minds are not savingly enlightened.(2) That which disgusts them, is what they cannot get over. There is something not to be found in Him, which they cannot want, and something in Him which they cannot endure. And by no art can they reconcile their hearts to it.(3) Because they cannot get over that one thing, it keeps Christ and the soul asunder effectually. Could the Jews have got over the offence of the mean appearance of Christ, and reconciled it to their own notion of the Messiah, they would have been fond of Him, as they were while He was not come.(4) This keeping Christ and the soul asunder, the soul is at length thereby ruined, and brought into a worse case than if Christ had never come in the way. "If I had not come," says He, "and spoken unto them, they had not had sin; but now they have no cloak for their sin."

II. TO SHOW THAT STUMBLING AT CHRIST ABOUNDS VERY MUCH IN THE WORLD. Let us view the heaps upon heaps that are lying broken, snared, and taken.

1. Let us take a view of those that are lying rotting above the ground in open profanity; they are kept away from Christ, even by the very far-off sight of Him and His way. There are many at this day who cry, "Let us break their bands asunder, and cast their cords from us. We will not have this Man to reign over us."

2. Let us take a view of those who are lying dead upon their murdered convictions.

3. Those that are lying broken and pining away, having stumbled aver the Cross of Christ.

4. Those that are fallen away from the lusts of Christ's consolation, to the fulsome breasts of the world and their own lusts. In every age there are many like the mixed multitude that came out of Egypt, who for a time kept up in the ,wilderness, but afterwards lost hopes of Canaan, and fell a "lusting, and even the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat?" Finally, Look at those whose soul exercises have issued in putting their case in the hands of a physician of no value.

III. TO SHOW THAT THEY ARE HAPPY INDEED WHO ARE KEPT FROM BEING OFFENDED IN HIM.

1. Their eyes are opened to see that superlative glory in Christ that all the unbelieving world cannot discover.

2. Their hearts are new formed, cast into a new mould, otherwise they could never be pleased with Him. "But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them who believe on His name."

3. That soul cannot fail to embrace Christ, to receive Him by faith and unite with Him. For to be well pleased with Christ, is in effect to say amen to the great bargain. Uses for improvement:

1. Be convinced then of this bias of the heart, this disposition of the soul to stumble at Jesus Christ.

2. I exhort one and all of you, that have a mind for any share of eternal happiness, and particularly communicants, that you would try yourselves this night, whether you be well pleased with Christ or not.

(T. Boston.)

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