And they took offense at Him.
Matthew 13:47-14:12 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet cast into the sea, and gathering fish of every kind; 48 and when it was filled, they drew it up on the beach; and they sat down and gathered the good fish into containers, but the bad they threw away. 49 So it will be at the end of the age; the angels will come forth and take out the wicked from among the righteous, 50 and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
51 “Have you understood all these things?” They said to Him, “Yes.”52 And Jesus said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has become a disciple of the kingdom of heaven is like a head of a household, who brings out of his treasure things new and old.”
53 When Jesus had finished these parables, He departed from there. 54 He came to His hometown and began teaching them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers? 55 Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary, and His brothers, James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? 56 And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” 57 And they took offense at Him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household.” 58 And He did not do many miracles there because of their unbelief.
14 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard the news about Jesus, 2 and said to his servants, “This is John the Baptist; he has risen from the dead, and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him.”
3 For when Herod had John arrested, he bound him and put him in prison because of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip. 4 For John had been saying to him, “It is not lawful for you to have her.” 5 Although Herod wanted to put him to death, he feared the crowd, because they regarded John as a prophet.
6 But when Herod’s birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced before them and pleased Herod, 7 so much that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked. 8 Having been prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.” 9 Although he was grieved, the king commanded it to be given because of his oaths, and because of his dinner guests. 10 He sent and had John beheaded in the prison. 11 And his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother. 12 His disciples came and took away the body and buried it; and they went and reported to Jesus.
Many people focus on knowing and following the life of Jesus. They focus on the way He lived and the things He did. In today’s text it says: When Jesus had finished these parables, He departed from there. He came to His hometown and began teaching them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers? Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary, and His brothers, James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” And they took offense at Him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household.” And He did not do many miracles there because of their unbelief. If we focus only on Jesus the man and what He did; we too, like the people of His hometown, might become offended by what He says. In today’s text Jesus says: “So it will be at the end of the age; the angels will come forth and take out the wicked from among the righteous, and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Many who know Jesus as a man of love and compassion, are offended at the idea that there would be a place of anguish, apart from God, for the wicked. Many who know the man of compassion, are offended by the Righteous Judge. In John 5:19-24 Jesus says: “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel. For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes. For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.”
It is not enough to only know Jesus the man of compassion. We must know Him as Emmanuel, God with us. Jesus, the only begotten Son of God, is also one with the Father. There is a saying that familiarity breeds comtempt. To those who are familiar only with Jesus the man, many of His teachings; much of what He says is offensive. In John 8:54-59 there is an interchange between Jesus and some of the Jewish leaders. It says: Jesus answered, “If I honor Myself, My honor is nothing. It is My Father who honors Me, of whom you say that He is your God. Yet you have not known Him, but I know Him. And if I say, ‘I do not know Him,’ I shall be a liar like you; but I do know Him and keep His word.Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.”Then the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by. They only knew the man. We need to know Jesus as I Am. Jesus is love and compassion; mercy and grace. He is also righteousness and holiness. Hebrews 4:15 says: We do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Revelation 1:8 says: "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty." Jesus who was a man, died for our sins. On the cross, in Luke 23:34 He says: "Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing." Even if it is Jesus the man that we focus on, we should remember not only how He lived, but how and why He died. Jesus was and is and is to come. On the cross He judged the sin of the world with His death. Many are offended by the cross. They might know about the love and compassion of Jesus, but they don’t know Him as Savior, Redeemer and Lord. Jesus is today, still offering the grace and mercy; the forgiveness of the cross, but He will be the One who is to come, not as a man of love and compassion, but rather as the Righteous Judge; as a conquering King. That is offensive to some, but Jesus says: “Blessed is he who does not take offense at Me." (Matthew 11:6)
Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ, Emmanuel, God with us; precious Holy Spirit, God in me; I AM. Thank You for Your
love and compassion; for Your mercy and grace. Thank You for the demonstration of Your love and grace in the forgiving, finished work of the cross. Because I know You as Redeemer, Savior and Lord, I will not fear or be offended by You as judge. Amen.