Jesus has just finished teaching his 12 disciples and is off teaching in their cities and towns when John the Baptist sends some of his followers to ask Jesus "just who are you?" Jesus responds that John should be told what they see: that the deaf hear, the blind see, lepers are made clean, the poor are told about the good news. And then Jesus says something fascinating: And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.
How easy Jesus says it is to be blessed. In reality, how easy is it not to take offense? We get offended all time by people, by what they say, how they act, by what they do. Many of us have thin skins. And certainly when Jesus was out and about preaching and teaching, turning the world in which he lived upside down, he offended a lot of folks.
Perhaps remembering this fact is a good tidbit to take with us today, and remember when we are feeling put out, insulted, taking offense at someone or something, asking ourselves "Is this really necessary?" is a way to think about what Jesus was getting at today. Perhaps by not taking offense, not only will we be blessed, but we will be passing on a blessing to someone who needs it just as much as we do.
Copyright 2009, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.