The blessing of submission

Posted: October 19, 2011 in Devotional

Luke 7:23, “And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.”

The disciples of John the Baptist had just asked Jesus for confirmation of His role as the Messiah. John was in prison, and apparently had fallen into discouragement there as he waited for the fullness of Jesus’ role to be demonstrated. Of course, John would be killed long before Jesus ever went to the cross, yet John did not know this. All he knew is that he was to prepare the way for the Messiah – he thought he had seen the Messiah – but now, he was in a prison & didn’t know what was going on around him.

Jesus’ response to John’s disciples was clear. He basically said, “Look around you & see the work of God. The lame are walking, the dead are being raised, and the gospel is being preached.” The work of God was itself evidence of Jesus as the Messiah. And then Jesus ends His answer with the brief statement of verse 23: “And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.” Had John been offended by Jesus? Was the idea that Jesus was not working according to the plans & schedule that John thought the Messiah ought to have a stumbling block & offensive to John?

On a more sobering thought, perhaps the same question can be asked of us. Are we offended at Jesus when He does not work according to our plans & what our ideas of what His work ought to be? Do we find ourselves apologizing for God to others when things don’t work out the way people want them to? Or worse yet, do we even find ourselves making excuses for God to ourselves?

Oh Christian, please remember Whom it is you serve! Remember that it is God who is God, and not us. Jesus is the Lord, and we are His slaves & servants. Yes, we are called His friends – and yes, we are blessedly included in the inheritance of Christ as the children of God. But it is HE that is the Lord, and not us. If we find ourselves disturbed that God does not act according to our wishes, perhaps we are in that forgetful place in which we think we are the ones that ought to be ruling our lives, and not God.

But oh, the blessedness of submission unto Christ! Those who are not offended by the works and words of the Lord Jesus find themselves supremely blessed! Just as Jesus taught in the Beatitudes the blessing of living as a citizen of God’s kingdom, so do we experience that blessing practically in our humble submission unto God. Jesus most certainly is a stone of stumbling & a rock of offense to those who reject Him as Lord, but for those who call Jesus “Lord,” we are blessed, for we do not need to be offended by Him. When we daily submit our lives unto Him – when we humbly & continually surrender ourselves into His hands, we find wonderful blessing.

Christian, are you offended by our Christ? Then you are offended by the gospel that you claim. Humble yourself before your Lord, and surrender your will unto His & experience His marvelous blessing.

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