Does What I’m Speaking Offend You?

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel account of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ as written and recorded by the beloved physician Luke. More specifically, today’s passage is found in verses thirty-seven through forty-nine of the sixth chapter. When you come to this particular passage of scripture you will find the continuation of Luke’s record of the words which Jesus spoke in what would be known as His Sermon on the Mount. What is actually quite interesting about Luke’s rendition of this sermon on the mount is that he doesn’t include the words which Jesus spoke in as great a detail as the apostle Matthew did in his gospel account of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. As you turn and direct your attention back to the New Testament gospel which the apostle Matthew wrote you will find there were three specific and three distinct chapters which were used by Matthew to detail the words which Jesus spoke unto His disciples and the great multitude which came unto Him to hear and listen to Him speak. The interesting and unique reality surrounding the apostle Matthew’s account of Jesus’ words in the sermon on the mount is that as of that particular moment—at least according to the words which Matthew wrote in his gospel account—Matthew hadn’t yet been called from the receipt of custom where he was sitting collecting taxes. If you read the New Testament gospel account of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ as written and recorded by the apostle Matthew you will find the apostles Simon also called Peter and his brother Andrew, as well as James and John being called by the lake where they were mending their nets. It isn’t until a later chapter where Matthew actually records the account of Jesus appearing unto him at the receipt of custom, however, this was after the Sermon on the mount had already been written and recorded in the gospel. When you read the gospel account which Luke writes and records, however, you will find in the fifth chapter the encounter of Jesus and Simon called Peter, as well as James and John after the miraculous catch of fish which was made after they agreed to launch out into the deep and let down their net. What’s more, is that before the fifth chapter of the gospel which Luke wrote is over you will find the calling of Levi from the receipt of custom as well. We know for certain that at the end of the fifth chapter of Luke’s gospel the apostles Peter, James, John snd Matthew had been called by Jesus from their respected places of work.

When you come to the sixth chapter of the New Testament gospel account of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ as written and recorded by Luke you will find great crowds of people coming from all Judaea and Jerusalem, as well as from the sea coasts of Tyre and Sidon. These individuals came forth from these towns in order that they might hear the words which Jesus Christ would speak unto and before them, as well as to be healed of their diseases and infirmities. It’s also worth noting and pointing out that there were also those individuals who were vexed with the spirits of unclean devils and sought deliverance and freedom from that which tormented and oppressed them. It is absolutely and incredibly unique and powerful to read the words which are found just prior to the words of Jesus and the sermon which He taught and spoke, for before Luke brings us face to face with the words which Jesus spoke unto the disciples and the great crowds of people, we find Jesus healing all those who came unto Him in order that they might be healed and delivered. What’s more, is that the great crowd of people were so anxious to be healed, to be cleansed, to be delivered and set free that they sought to touch Him, for Luke records how virtue went out from Jesus. This is absolutely wonderful and remarkable when you consider it in terms of what took place in the first set of verses within this same gospel account written by Luke for Luke records a certain and specific instance when the power of the Lord was present to heal all those who were present in the house. In other words—not only was it noises that Jesus was in the house, but the power of the Lord was also present to heal all those who had beef and were desperate in their current condition. As you come to the sixth chapter of the New Testament gospel account of the life and ministry of Luke you will find how virtue went out from Jesus Christ and healed all those who had come unto Him to receive healing and deliverance. When the sixteenth verse draws to a close it does so with the power of the Lord being present to heal all those who were present on this particular day—all those who desired to be healed and delivered.

I have to admit that I actually like, enjoy and appreciate how the beloved physician Luke sets up these words which Jesus would speak unto His disciples, for Luke wrote and recorded how great crowds of people came out of all Judaea and Jerusalem, and even from the region of Tyre and Sidon to hear the words which He would speak. In all reality there appears to be an eagerness to hear and listen to the words which Jesus the Christ would speak unto those who would gather before Him to hear and listen to Him speak. It’s actually quite remarkable and astounding to think about and consider the fact that what sets up the words which Jesus would teach and speak unto those who came out of all Judaea and Jerusalem, as well as the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon is healing for those who had all manner of diseases and infirmities, and deliverance from those which were vexed with unclean spirits. It is true that we find and read the words which Jesus the Christ spoke and taught on this particular occasion, but before we even get into the words which He Himself would speak unto the company of disciples, as well as the great multitude of people we find Jesus healing all those who would come unto Him to both hear Him speak and be healed of Him. I firmly believe that we must take to heart the words which are found in this particular passage of Scripture concerning Jesus healing all those who would come unto Him, for the beloved physician Luke writes and records how those who came unto Him out of all Judaea and Jerusalem, as well as the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon came to be healed, yes, but they also came to hear the words which He would teach and speak. We dare not be quick to move past this particular reality, for there is something to be said about entering into the presence of Jesus, and entering into that presence—not only to be healed of all that plagues us, but also to hear and listen to the words which He would speak. In fact, I would dare say that there would be those who would dare enter into the presence of Jesus Christ to be healed by Him, and yet they have absolutely no desire to hear the words which He would speak unto them. Oh, they might very well be grateful for the healing which Jesus released in their lives, however, when it comes to actually sticking around to hear Him speak unto them, they quickly find excuses and reasons to leave the presence. It might very well be said that once they received what they came for, they were content in and with their healing, and departed from the presence of the Lord without paying any attention to the words which He Himself would speak unto them. Such individuals don’t mind receiving healing from Jesus the Christ, however, when it comes to hearing and listening to the words which He speaks unto them, they quickly find reason to leave and depart from the presence.

Please do not miss or quickly lose sight of this particular reality and concept, for I am completely and utterly convinced that there are men and women among us in this generation who would gladly and happily enter into the presence of Jesus to be healed of that which ails and plagues them, and even to be delivered of that which has tormented and oppressed them, however, when it comes to remaining in the presence of Jesus to hear and listen to the words which He would speak unto them, they quickly find all the reasons in the world to leave and depart from His presence. This actually brings me to an interesting and captivating thought—namely, what would happen if each and every time we experienced these “awakenings” and these “revivals” which have taken place in recent years, the altar call, and even the call for men and women who desire to be healed and delivered took place before the preaching of the word. What would happen if the preaching of the word took place after the healing had already taken place, and after the deliverance had already taken place? Would we be completely and utterly amazed at how many men and women might very well leave the sanctuary and leave the place of meeting after receiving and experiencing their healing and deliverance having absolutely no desire to hear and listen to the words which Jesus the Christ would speak unto them. I am completely and utterly convinced that we would be amazed at how quickly the sanctuary and auditorium would empty out once people received their healing, and received deliverance from that which tormented and oppressed them. I am convinced that one of the sure fire ways to mete out those who are truly genuine in their pursuit of Jesus Christ, and those who are truly desperate to hear the words which Jesus would speak unto them is to introduce the healing and deliverance first, and then introduce the words and teaching which Jesus would bring forth after the healing had already been completed. I am convinced that there are those who enter into the presence of Jesus the Christ simply to receive from Him that which they desire and need within their lives, and yet once they have received what they have come for, they are quick to depart from the presence of Jesus. Such individuals are okay remaining in the presence of Jesus, and even in the company of the disciples until they get what they want, and until they are healed and delivered, yet once they have received and experienced that reality within their lives, they are quick to depart from the presence of the Lord and go about their way. Oh, it is true they might be thankful for the work which Jesus the Christ did for and within them, however, when it comes to actually hearing and listening to the words which Jesus would speak unto them, they are quick to depart from the presence and find every reason to leave.

I can’t help but be reminded of a specific instance recorded in the sixth chapter of the New Testament gospel of John when great crowds and great multitudes of people gathered before and gathered unto Jesus to hear and listen to Him speak, however, what would ultimately end up happening was a great many of those who had gathered before Jesus and followed Him would ultimately leave and depart from His presence. In fact, what we find and what we read in the sixth chapter of the New Testament gospel of John is in all reality a great falling away and a great turning back of disciples who once walked with Jesus the Christ, and yet would turn back. What’s more, is that these men and women would not turn back and depart from the presence of Jesus because of the healing they might have received within their lives, nor even the deliverance they received in their lives, but because of the words which Jesus Christ spoke unto them. Consider if you will the words which are found written and recorded in the sixth chapter of the New Testament gospel of John beginning to read with and from the twenty-eighth verse of the sixth chapter:

“Then said they unto Him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent. They said therefore unto Him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? What dost thou work? Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat. Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. Then said they unto Him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believe that on me shall never thirst. But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not. All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I cam down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of Him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of Him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise Him up at the last day. The Jews then murmured at Him, because He said, I am the bread which came down from heaven. And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven? Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves. No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me to draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that’s hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinkers my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwellers in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever. These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum. Many therefore of His disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples murmured at it, He said unto them, Doth this offend you? What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where He was before? It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. From that time many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with Him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered Him, Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus answered them, have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray Him, being one of the twelve” (John 6:28-71).

There are two distinct realities which are found within this particular passage of Scripture which I am completely and utterly convinced we must take into consideration, and carefully think about within our heart and mind. On the one hand we have many of the disciples—when they heard the words which Jesus spoke unto them—declared among themselves that the words which He spoke was a hard saying. What’s more, is that many of the disciples which were present on this day not only declared of the words which Jesus spoke that it was a hard saying, but they also went on to ask who can hear it. Please don’t miss and please don’t lose sight of this tremendous reality, for not only did many of the disciples feel the words which Jesus spoke were hard, but they also could not understand who among them could actually hear it. The true and ultimate question they were asking was centered upon the reality of who among them could hear and listen—and even accept this teaching which was spoken by Jesus the Christ. The apostle John writes and records how many of the disciples had a difficult time hearing the words of Jesus Christ, and actually declared that what He was speaking unto them were hard to handle, and were even difficult to hear and listen to. This very reality directly corresponds with Jesus’ perception within Himself of the disciples which were before Him, for the apostle John would go on to write how Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples murmured at His words and saying, and then asked them point blank, “Doth this offend you?” This particular question which Jesus asked the disciples who were present on this day in Capernaum is actually quite astounding and quite remarkable, for Jesus knew within Himself that many of His disciples murmured against the words which He spoke, and then He asked them point blank without hesitation and without reservation whether or not the words which He spoke offended them. Oh, I am completely and absolutely convinced that this question should be asked among countless men and women among us within this generation when they hear and when they read the words which Jesus the Christ speaks unto them. I have to admit that this question which Jesus asked of all his disciples at this time is quite unique and powerful, for the question He asked them was whether or not they were offended with and by the words which He spoke. As I sit here this morning I can’t help but ask you who might be reading the words found within this writing whether or not you are offended with the words which Jesus is speaking and has spoken unto you. Are you right now offended with and by something Jesus has said to you in your personal time of devotion, or perhaps even when you were in His presence in the house of the Lord? Are you right now offended with something you read within the Scriptures because what you read was a hard saying, and you were unable to hear and listen to it? Would it shock and surprise you to think about and consider the fact that it is possible to read the words which are found and contained within the word of God, and to grow offended with those words within your heart? Would it shock and surprise you to cry out in the presence of the Lord to hear Him speak unto you, and yet if you or I hear something we don’t like, we quickly and easily grow offended with Jesus and with the Father because of what they have spoken unto us.

It’s worth noting that as you continue reading the words which are found within the sixth chapter of the New Testament gospel of Luke you will find Him delivering and speaking unto His disciples a parable concerning those who heard, listened to His words, and obeyed them, and those who heard His words, did not listen to them, and did not obey them. Before I get into the parable which Jesus the Christ spoke at the conclusion of this message, it is necessary and imperative to turn and direct our attention to the words which are found in the New Testament epistle which James the brother of Jesus wrote. Towards the end of the first chapter of this particular epistle we find James writing concerning those who hear the word and do that which it says, and contrasts those who hear the word and do what it says, and those who hear the word and don’t do what it says. Beginning with the twenty-second verse of the first chapter of this New Testament epistle you will find the following words written by the brother of Jesus:

“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a here’s of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: for he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain” (James 1:22-26).

Within this particular portion of the epistle which James wrote he emphatically writes and declares we must not only be hearers of the word only, but must also be doers of the word. What’s more, is that James would go on to declare that if any man be a hearer of the word only, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass, for he beholds himself, goes his way, and straightway forgets what manner of man he was. HAVE YOU FORGOTTEN WHAT MANNER OF MAN YOU ARE? HAVE YOU FORGOTTEN WHAT MANNER OF WOMAN YOU ARE? I am firmly convinced that if any man is in Christ they are a new creation, for old things have passed away, and behold, all things are become new. I am firmly convinced that there is a work of sanctification, justification and redemption within our hearts and lives, yet with that being said, I am also convinced that there are times when we read the word of God and we come face to face with the type of man and woman we are. Remember the words which the apostle Paul wrote in his epistle which was written unto the Romans how “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God?” These words bring us face to face with the fact that there is not a single man or woman who has not sinned, and as a result have fallen from short of the glory of God. The words which the apostle Paul wrote unto the saints which were at Rome, as well as the words which James the brother of Jesus wrote in the first chapter of the epistle which bears His name actually work in tandem with each other, for I am convinced that it is possible for us to forget what manner of man and/or what manner of woman we are within our hearts and lives, and we do so when we neglect and ignore the words which are found and written within the word of God, and the words which were spoken by the Lord Jesus Christ. James writes within this particular passage that that man who is a hearer of the word only, and isn’t a doer is like a man who beholds his natural face in a glass, goes his way, and immediately forgets what manner of man they were. There is not a doubt in my mind that when we hear the words which Jesus spoke alone, and don’t simply do them, we are no different than that man who looks at and beholds themselves in a mirror and then immediately after departing form before the mirror forgets what manner of man they truly are. What we must realize and what we must recognize concerning the words which Jesus the Christ spoke unto His disciples, and unto the crowds which gathered before and unto Him is that his words reveal what manner and what type of man and what type of woman we truly are within this generation, and within this culture and society. I am completely and utterly convinced that there is a great need for us to carefully examine and carefully consider the words which are found and written in the word of God, as well as the words which were spoken by Jesus the Christ, for by doing so we encounter and come face to face with the reality of what type of man and what type of woman we truly are before and In His presence.

You will notice that at the very end of this teaching and sermon Jesus provides us with a parable concerning those who call Him Lord, Lord, and yet do not the things which He spoke and declared. Beginning with the forty-sixth verse of the sixth chapter of the New Testament gospel of Luke we find the following words which were spoken by Jesus the Christ concerning those who call Him Lord, Lord, and yet do not the things which He spoke and commanded. Consider if you will the words which are found in this passage of Scripture beginning with the forty-sixth verse of the sixth chapter:

“And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: he is like a man which built an house, and dogged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great” (Luke 6:46-49).

There is something about calling Jesus, Lord, Lord, and not doing the things which He spoke and commanded that is completely and utterly damaging within our hearts and lives. Remember the words which the apostle Matthew wrote and recorded of Jesus speaking the seventh chapter of the New Testament gospel account of His life and ministry? Inverses twenty-one through twenty-three we find the following words which were spoken by Jesus Christ and written and recorded by the apostle Matthew: “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:21-23). With these words Jesus clearly sets forth those who will come to Him in that last day and declare unto Him, Lord, Lord, and yet not every one who declares unto Him, Lord, Lord will enter into the kingdom of heaven. What’s more, is that Jesus goes on to describe how those who will enter into the kingdom of heaven are those who do in fact call Him, Lord, Lord, but who also do the will of His Father which is in heaven. In the sixth chapter of the New Testament gospel of Luke we find Jesus asking His disciples why they call Him, Lord, Lord, and yet do not the things He commanded them, and in the seventh chapter of the New Testament gospel of Matthew we find Jesus speaking about those who call Him, Lord, Lord and do not the will of His Father which is in heaven. Perhaps the single greatest question we must ask ourselves when reading the words which are written and recorded in the sixth chapter of the New Testament gospel of Luke, as well as the seventh chapter of the New Testament gospel of Matthew is not only whether or not we call Jesus Lord, Lord, but also whether or not we do the things which He commanded, and do the will of His Father which is in heaven. You who are reading the words which are found and contained within this writing today—are you one who cries out saying, Lord, Lord, and yet you do not the things which Jesus has spoken, nor do the will of His Father which is in heaven? Are you one who merely hears the words which Jesus the Christ speaks unto you, and those words which He has spoken unto you, and yet you hear them only, and don’t do them? There is something to be said about those who can read the words which are found within Scripture and are not offended with and by them, and those who can hear the words which Jesus Christ has spoken and is still speaking, and are not offended with and by that which He has spoken and is speaking unto them. Perhaps one of the greatest questions we must ask ourselves right now is whether or not we are offended with and by the words Jesus has spoken unto us, and whether or not we can handle the words which He has spoken in the divine word of God, and the words which He continues to speak unto us in our lives.

Are we such who are poor, and yet ours is the kingdom of heaven? Are we such who hunger now, for we shall be filled? Are we such who weep now, for we shall laugh? Are we such who are hated by men, and have been separated from the company of others, and are reproached and cast out for the sake of the name of Christ within our lives? Are we such who can love our enemies, and do good unto those who hate us? Are we such who can bless those who curse us, and pray for those who despitefully use us? Are we such who can turn unto those who smite us on the one cheek the other cheek, thus exposing ourselves to further hurt and pain? Are we such who aren’t willing to defend ourselves, and who are willing to give up all sense of entitlement to be loved, accepted and received? Are we such who will give to every one that asks of us, and to give our coat to the one who has taken away our cloak? Are we such who would do unto others as we would have them do unto us? Are we those who are willing to do good unto those who hate us, and to even love our enemies, and not simply love our neighbor and our brother only? Oh that we would be those who love our enemies, and those who do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again. Oh that we would be those who are merciful as our Father in heaven is also merciful, and those who judge and condemn not knowing that to the same degree and measure we judge and condemn we shall also be judged and condemned. Oh that we would be those who are willing to forgive those who have trespassed against us knowing that if we do not forgive others, neither will our Heavenly Father forgive us. Oh that we would be men and women who will give unto those who are in need, and unto those who have nothing and expect nothing in return. Oh that we would not only give up our sense of entitlement, but also that we would learn to give up our sense of expectation in that we expect nothing in return from those who are before and around us. Oh that we would be true disciples and servants of our Master, and would not only be hearers of the words which He spoke, but would be doers of the word and would be those who do the will of our Father which is in heaven.

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