Then He [Jesus] said to the disciples, “It is impossible that no offense should come, but woe to him through whom they do come!” Luke 17:1
If there is one thing for certain in our Christian walk, it is that offenses will come to us. We will get offended in one way or another. Jesus was telling us to be prepared for what was to come.
Jesus even mentions it again when He begins to speak about the end times in Matthew 24:10: “And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.” Jesus already gave us the warning. We are to take heed to this warning and understand that He has made a way for us to overcome offense.
Today we see many people offended through the many lawsuits that are out there. People are getting offended and trying to make money off of it.
If offenses are going to come then how we deal with offense is important. The second part of the verse in Luke 17:1 basically says that we should not be a vessel used to spread offense. The human tendency is to try to get others to sympathize with us and get others to come in agreement with us when we are offended. As a result of trying to get others to sympathize with us we spread offense by telling everyone how someone has wronged us or how we were offended.
As you can see this will only cause strife, division, and contention. Notice what the disciple’s response was to what Jesus was telling them about offense and how they were supposed to forgive as many times as it took: And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” (Luke 17:5)
The disciples had been able to heal the sick and cast out demons. They had been used mightily by God and great power was flowing through them, but when Jesus said that they were to forgive they asked for more faith. It is not easy to forgive when someone has wronged us or has offended us in some way but we need to overcome our pride and ask for forgiveness no matter what.
Don’t stay in a life of offense because when we stay in a life of offense many other things will spring up such as: bitterness, anger, hate,…. Learn to forgive even if we were truly wronged. We may not be able to forgive in our own strength and that is when we have to make a decision—it’s not a feeling—to forgive by the strength that Jesus gives us (Philippians 4:13).
“For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully. For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God.” (1 Peter 2:19-20)