133M - They Were Offended

"In the Midst of Thee" - volumes 1 & 2 contain 200 favorite Glenn Rawson Stories - at: History of the Saints . org

The Savior was kind, and filled with charity. Yet there were times when He could be daunting, and very straight-spoken – for example:

The Pharisees and the scribes sought him out, and happened to observe His disciples eating bread without first washing their hands. That bothered them. They took occasion to criticize what they deemed sinful behavior.

[You] see, according to their traditions, if someone [people] ate without first washing their food and\or washing their hands, they were considered unclean before the Lord. That’s how they saw it.

Well, Jesus did not beg pardon, nor did He rationalize their behavior of the disciples. He came right back and said to them, “…Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoreth me with their lips but their heart is [hearts are] far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”
(Mark 7:6-7)

Well, the Master then went on to cite examples of how the Pharisees themselves set aside the word of the Lord in favor of the word of rabbis. In many instances their strict adherence to customs and traditions brought them into conflict with the commandments of God, and all too often, Jesus points out, God lost.

Then, calling to the multitudes watching this exchange, he announced thus: “Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a [the] man.” (Matthew 15:11)

In other words, it’s not what we eat that makes us filthy before God, but what we say, what we think, and what we do. Well from there, He turned and went into the house. As He did so, His disciples came to him and they said, “…Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying?” Matthew 15:12).

Oh, dear! The Savior hurt someone’s feelings! What will He do now? And this is what He said: “Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.” (Matthew 15:14)

Jesus was not about to apologize for wounding their pride. They deserved it; they needed it. Moreover, He did not want his disciples blindly following them to hell. So, He would let them be offended!

Now, some have struggled with this story. But please remember, Jesus was and is just and merciful. To be merciful means to be kind and forgiving, treating others more often better than they deserve. But in balance, Jesus was also just. He did only those things that pleased God, and God first!

Now, if we would be true disciples, my friends, then mercy cannot rob justice, nor can kindness rob courage.

Glenn Rawson – March 9, 2011
Music: The Lord Is My Shepherd & More Holiness Give Me (edited) - Jennie Bangerter Larsen
Song: Strong and Courageous – Jenny Phillips Chorus