Monday, September 14, 2020

The Work Gets Completed

The Work Gets Completed

September 14, 2020

Genesis 1:17 "So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so."

In reading the Bible, from the beginning, the Lord's character is revealed throughout. In Genesis, the opening chapters of the creation story, we learn very little about the Lord, other than the fact that He was the creator. There is no mention of His compassion or mercy, no commentary of His sense of right and wrong, just an organized detail of how He created the world. Rightly so, the beginning is usually a good place to start. The Bible sets out explaining that He, the Lord, was the one responsible. In the opening chapters of the Bible, it is declared that God is the reason everything came into existence. God was the one who created it, God was responsible, and God was (and is) in charge. He had dominion over creation.

The second thing we glean from the opening chapters of the Bible, is the quality of God in organization. He set boundaries for the waters and the sky, times for light, regulations on food, and instructions for subduing the earth. Do remember, we were (and are) created in His image. It is rather clinical to think, but the Bible discusses the ground work for business and getting things in motion. This is intentional; before He can interact with His creation, creation must be set in motion.

One of the most important things, however, that we learn in the creation story, is the Lord's act of completion. He said there should be light and it was so. If you re-read the first chapter in Genesis, after He spoke something into existence, the Bible says, "and it was so." The Lord is true to His word, He does not waiver; what He says comes to completion. In fact, when you get to the end of all the acts of creating, the Bible says that the Lord was completed in His work. The Lord declared his work complete and rested on the seventh day. What the Lord set out to accomplish, He accomplished.  The other notable accomplishment in the Bible, were marked by words similarly spoken by Jesus on the cross. When Jesus was about to take His last breath on the cross, He said, "it is finished." Jesus declared that work was completed, too. He had a plan that was set out before Him to accomplish, and He did what He said He was going to do. Jesus was with God at the beginning, completing creation, and Jesus completed the other work on earth that He set out to accomplish on the cross.

The Lord is faithful to complete His work, and that includes the work that He is doing in your life as well. When He sets out on a task, it is well thought out and executed with intent. The Lord is determined in His outcome and it always comes to resolve. No where in Scripture does it say the Lord failed any of His works or purposes. No where in Scripture is a promise left unfulfilled. No where in Scripture does God leave His children stranded or without a plan. The Lord always has a plan and He has one now. The Lord knows what He is doing in your life and on this earth and nothing is out of His control. He is working through His creation even now and completing the work through your life. Your life is not an accident, rather methodically organized and planned by the Lord, bringing everything to fruition as intended. There is not failure on the Lord's behalf. There will be a point in your story when the Lord says it is complete, but that time is not today. 

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  Gen 1, John 19:30, Phil 1:6

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Pain Point

Pain Point
2 Corinthians 11:24 "Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one."
July 15, 2020

The Apostle Paul was an impressive individual, devout in his service to the Lord, and at great expense. Recall that before he came to know Jesus as Lord, that he persecuted the Christians, even participating in the killing of them. He oversaw the stoning of Stephen (with Stephen forgiving Paul while he was being stoned). Paul could have been considered an extremist in his service to the Lord. If anyone wants to claim they are dedicated in service the Lord, I challenge them to analog their life with Paul's life. When Paul became a servant of Christ, he carried over his same enthusiasm, not willing to be deterred by any obstacle.

Paul was bragging about the obstacles he overcame in his dedication to the Lord, trying to demonstrate or prove the depth of his service. He said five times he had received 39 lashes. This means he was whipped, on his bare backside, 39 times, on five separate occasions. In Deuteronomy, 39 lashes was the maximum penalty, falling just shy of a death sentence, allowable by Jewish law. Somehow it was determined that 40 lashes would kill a human, but 39 was survivable. Some argue that Jesus received the 39 lashes before He was crucified, but Jesus was scourged by the Romans, not necessarily in accordance with Mosaic Law. Nonetheless, Paul got whipped just to the point of being on the brink of death, a tortuous ordeal. These beatings were given in direct response to him preaching the good news of Jesus as Lord, considered heresy by the Jews.

The Jews were so angry in hearing the name of Jesus as Lord, that they sentenced Paul to 39 lashes and Paul took it. Not only did Paul take it, but it did not deter him. Think of the worst obstacle you have ever had in your and what it took to overcome that, and it likely does not compare to the first beating Paul endured, and yet he was still willing to preach the good news. Today, many are considered as delicate as a snowflake, at the first sign of an obstacle. I'm sure that if I had received the first 39 lashes, that I might be hesitant again to preach the name of Jesus in the streets. I'd consider an underground church, for sure, just to avoid preaching in the streets, remembering the beating. Paul was not deterred from the first set of 39 lashes and continued to preach in public. Paul was not deterred from the second set of 39 lashes, being brought to the brink of death again, and continued to preach the good news of Jesus Christ. Paul was not deterred a third or fourth or fifth time, being brought to the brink of death, his backside so scarred his flesh was not likely recognizable. Paul continued to share the good news of Jesus as Lord. Clearly the Jews' beatings of Paul were not enough to deter him from serving the Lord.  The Jews never found Paul's pain point.

You and I may not have that same point. Some of you have been emotionally hurt, even by other Christians, that you are deterred in your dedication to the Lord. Maybe your pain points have not pushed you to the brink of denouncing the Lord but maybe you are not quite as zealous as you once were, or outspoken in your dedication to the Lord. Many of us have a tipping point, some lighter than others, that would deter us from serving the Lord. I'm not sure how I would recover from five sets of 39 lashes. I'm not sure my zeal would still be as strong as before the first one. Maybe you've not received 39 lashes but you've been harmed, Satan using that to deter you from serving the Lord to your fullest degree. Its time to revive your vigor in service to the Lord; I doubt you've received 39 lashes no matter how severe the persecution.  Are you willing to truly die for Him? Prove it by living for Him. What's your pain point? 

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  Deut 25:3, John 19:1, 2 Cor 11:16-33

Monday, July 6, 2020

Here's Your Sign

Here's Your Sign
Matthew 12:39 "He answered, 'A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign. . . '"
July 6, 2020

In the Bible, many times the hero of the specific story asked the Lord for a sign before setting off on a big journey, a confirmation miracle to prove the authenticity of the revelatory command. Most of the the time, in the Old Testament, the Lord provided the sign. To be honest, the Lord set up the concept of a sign, a miraculous wonder to confirm the interactive spiritual awakening, and perpetuated it throughout the Bible. The Lord gave Moses a staff and told him to use it in front of Pharaoh and perform signs and wonders. Then the Lord even had Moses participate in the plagues, as a sign the Lord was taking part in the turn of events. Gideon asked for a sign. Even the 12 Disciples looked for signs, to confirm the Lord was actually present and speaking to them.

The Pharisees specifically asked Jesus to perform a miracle or for a sign to see if Jesus could back up His strong speech. It was actually inherent in the Pharisees' religious DNA to seek for a sign, since that's what was perpetuated for them in their readings. But Jesus was not about to give them a sign. The Pharisees wanted a sign more than they wanted the Lord. They wanted the sign so they did not have to faith. Jesus was not going to let the sign be the stumbling block to them and called them wicked for even asking for it. Jesus knew the sign was not going to fix their hearts. Their hearts were too focused on the human perspective and a sign would simply have reinforced their lack of maturity, the lack of faith or the need to have faith.

Jesus mentioned on several occasions that the only sign they would get was the sign of Jonah (referring to being in the belly of death for three days), as Jesus would be in the tomb for three days before resurrection. Further into the New Testament, when the Disciples were spreading the good news of the gospel, the gentiles (specifically Greeks), wanted the wisdom of the good news to be so overwhelming and enlightened that it made sense to higher reasoning. This, too, is opposite of what the Lord had set up. The gospel appears actually quite foolish, because it requires faith and because it requires knowledge of the unseen.  There is no wisdom in the unseen or higher state of knowledge to ascend to in order to reach salvation. Salvation cannot be attained through knowledge or understanding, only faith.

You are on a journey of faith, not signs and not wisdom. Some of you have been traveling well on that journey, but gotten trapped by the physical or human understanding of where your journey should be taking you. Every day is a fresh opportunity to assess if you are on the path the Lord has for you, the path of faith that signs and wisdom may not confirm. Some of you have been paralyzed, having enough faith to believe in the Lord, and stopped there, not moving forward with your Christian walk. It takes faith to step out into a treacherous journey, full of the unknown and alarming and the scary. You may be aware of the potential path but you've never started walking on it.  Maybe there is something that you are supposed to step out and do, or go, or become but you've been waiting for a sign. Here's your sign.

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  Judges 6:33-40, Matt 12:38-39, Matt 16:1-4, Matt 24:3, 1 Corinthians 1:18-25

Monday, June 22, 2020

Take a Second Look

Take a Second Look
June 22, 2020
Luke 9:62 "Jesus replied, 'No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the service in the kingdom of God.'"

Jesus taught several times that there would be a cost to following Him. Jesus lived a humble lifestyle, as He knew the things of the world were of no value in the Kingdom of Heaven. He was dedicated in his work on earth, not accumulating wealth or status or anything that would deter Him from the goal. His relationships were authentic, a small circle of those He tried to keep around Him,  shunning fame even. It would have been extremely possible for Jesus to do miracles so big and public, that Jesus could have become famous, even. He had power untold, and yet He kept it in check. He could have made himself huge in the world's eye, with lightning from His fingertips and force everyone to bow to Him, but He did not. That wasn't His goal or plan. He sacrificed more than we will ever understand, just in His daily life, for the sake of what He was called to do.

He said that we should be like minded in our work, not even looking back at the world around us. A man wanted to follow Jesus as a disciple and Jesus instructed Him to simple follow, but the man suggested he should return home first and put his affairs in order, making sure his father was buried. Some theologians believe his father was still alive, and this could have been years before the man was fully ready to follow the Lord. The analogy is in regard to salvation as well as the dedication in following the Lord after initial salvation. Jesus said the man who wanted to go back and bury his father was not fit for service. It was possible the man's father was a devout Jew that did not believe in Jesus as the Messiah. The man would have disgraced his father by serving Jesus and so the man wanted to let his father die in peace, possibly, on good terms with each other. Jesus said this man was not fit to be one of His disciples.

As Christians, we understand who the Lord is and the message of His work, but do we fully realize the focus that Jesus is asking of us?  Jesus told the man he could not even look back and be fit for discipleship, forget about the huge task of going home to bury his father. Do we understand the urgency of following the Lord and the tasks at hand? Do we understand the focus Jesus is asking of us in our work for Him, in His calling on our lives? Some of us have not fully looked back but the deception in the church is to look sideways. We get distracted by the ease of going to church, the programs, the social aspect of our Christian friends. When we look sideways, we are not fully looking ahead and that slows our pace, detracts from our focus.

We should be disciplined in evaluating the things in our lives worth keeping and doing along with the things in our lives worth letting go. There are distractions in your life right now and that are keeping you from your focus, and the Lord is asking you to take a second look at those things. The Lord says if you are not willing to evaluate your possible distractions, then you are not fit for His kingdom. This seems harsh, but those are His words. Some of you have a ministry you are supposed to be a part of, and yet you've been putting it off, saying not yet. You are either fit for service or you are not, there is no middle ground. Its time for singular focus.

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  Gen 19:14-26, Luke 9:57-62, Luke 17:20-37

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

The Lord Never Knew Him

The Lord Never Knew Him

Matthew 7:23 "Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'"
June 16, 2020

In Romans, the Apostle Paul writes that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. This is referring to confession as Jesus being Lord and receiving what Christians today call salvation. It is the necessary steps that we have accepted as practice to ensure we have salvation from hell and will be in Heaven someday. Paul writes that it is critical steps of confession and belief, both in the name of the Lord, that attains initial salvation. He says that everyone who does this will be saved. But there is some conflicting verbiage in the Bible, as Jesus says that not everyone who calls out His name will be saved. Jesus said there are those who,  in the Christian world, will earn their living in the church, and yet the Lord will not acknowledge them as saved when they try to enter the gates of Heaven.

Both Paul and Jesus are correct in their words, there is no dichotomy, just clarification required. Paul lays out the formula for achieving salvation, as no other steps required, with the same rules for everyone, Jew or Gentile. Jesus, however, was clear that just calling out His name is the initial act, but then Jesus gets to judge his heart. Paul clarified the steps for us, but Paul always left it there, realizing it then becomes a private relationship between the individual and the Lord. Paul was not given authority to judge the heart, only the Lord can do that. Jesus said there are many who will work in the church and live their whole lives attending church (even knowing the Scriptures and the lingo), yet not actually be saved.

Jesus was clear that that initial steps are calling on the name of the Lord, however clarified it by saying only those who then do the will of Father are truly saved. This is the issue of Lordship. Jesus was saying that a man who is performing acts of service in a church as a church leader, but not necessarily hearing from the Lord and doing the Lord's will, may not be saved. As Christians, we receive salvation and then we have to submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in our lives, following His will. Salvation is the initial step on the journey, but the journey proves the authenticity of salvation.

Sadly, there are many reading this who call themselves Christians, but have deceived themselves into thinking their salvation was authentic. Maybe their motive was just to find insurance against hell and never knew Jesus as Lord. It is possible to know who Jesus is and yet not know Him as Lord. In doing the Lord's will, it takes knowing His will and then implementing it. Many Christians live out their lives doing their own will, even pastors of churches can have their own agenda. You likely sit in church alongside many who call themselves Christians, and yet they will not be in Heaven with you. Maybe you are deceiving yourself. Maybe you think you are a Christian and yet are following your own path in life, your own will and your own plans. The Lord would suggest that this is not the path required of a Christian. Show yourself the authenticity of your salvation by your life and choices and whom you seek for direction. You can do all the right things, good things, even in a Church, and yet if you are not seeking what the Lord would have you do, laying down your wants and desires, then you are not saved, your salvation was never authentic. 

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  Matt 7:13-23, Rom 10:5-13, Phil 2:12

Monday, June 8, 2020

Formula for National Healing

Formula for National Healing
June 8, 2020
Jeremiah 33:6 "I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security."

The prophet Daniel, wrote in Daniel chapter 9 about Jeremiah, and he said he understood the 70 years of captivity were about to come to an end, as written about through the prophet Jeremiah, as there was a promise and a caveat. The promise is in Jeremiah 33, and the Lord says starting in verse 6, I will bring health and healing to it (meaning the land and the people in it), and I will bring them back and rebuild them. Then it goes on to further say, I will cleanse them from their sin and will forgive their rebellion against me. I will restore the fortunes of the Land as they were before. So Daniel read these words and he was scratching off the years waiting for the Lord to bring full restoration and healing to the house of Israel.

If you read chapter 9 of Daniel, he doesn’t pack a suitcase, he doesn’t write letters to his relatives telling them he is going to come home and ask them to get a hot dinner ready, you’ll read it and notice that he gets on his knees and repents. Daniel repents. Daniel was likely one of the most righteous men of the time, possible the most righteous man alive, and he gets on his knees and repents. He understood the Lord was going to heal the land and forgive the sins and so Daniel took it upon himself to repent for the need to live in exile in the first place, because the children of Israel broke the covenant with the Lord. Daniel repented on behalf of all the sins that were committed to get them the 70-year sentence, even though Daniel was only a child when it all started and went down. Daniel, himself, had nothing to do with the 70 years in exile and had nothing personal to repent for, absolutely nothing, but he repented on behalf of all the sins of the forefathers that brought the punishment of the exile.

Daniel, unlike a few of our church leaders today, understood the formula in the Bible to bring about national healing. The formula is found in 2 Chronicles 7. The Lord says, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek my face and repent of their wicked ways, then I will hear their prayers and then I will forgive their sins and then I will heal their land.

Daniel knew the formula, if he wanted the prophet's words to come true, the formula for seeing the nation healed and people restored, there had to be repentance. The formula is an if-then statement. It requires acknowledgement of sin and repentance from it. The Lord says the acknowledgement of sin and repentance comes first and then the healing and restoration would follow. We often get it wrong, and our church leaders today calling for prayers to restore and heal our land is wrong. The church leaders need to call for  repentance.

Daniel knew this. He knew he had to acknowledge and repent of the sins of his forefathers and that the Lord would do His part. Jeremiah told them of this need for forgiveness of sins, and both Jeremiah and Daniel were familiar with the formula in 2 Chronicles 7. Daniel had to lead. And so, we as Christians, need to lead the way in repentance if we want to see our national healed. Don't pray for national healing, that is a foregone conclusion from the Lord when there is repentance.

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  2 Chr 7, Jer 33, Dan 9

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Out of Season Fruit

Out of Season Fruit
June 1, 2020
Mark 11:13 "Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit."

Both in the books of Matthew and Mark, there is an account of the story where Jesus curses the fig tree. In the accounts, Jesus walked up to the fig tree, desiring some fruit from it. When He noticed that it did not have any fruit, He cursed the fig tree and it quickly withered up and died. The accounts detail there were leaves on the tree, which meant summer was present, but Mark notes that it was not fully fruit season yet. Mark declares that no one expected figs yet, since it was not season, and yet Jesus walked up to the tree anyway because He was hungry and wanted some fruit. Why would Jesus have walked up to the tree expecting some fruit? Jesus knew it was not fruit season yet. Why would Jesus expect something from the tree inappropriately and then punish the tree when it was not producing fruit out of season? The story goes on to impress the power of the spoken word that the Disciples would have in their lives, creating an analogy to the actions of Jesus at the fig tree, but is there something more to the fig tree?

Recall that Jesus was present and an active participation in the original creation during Genesis. The Bible says that by the power of the spoken word, the world, and all that is in it, was created.  Life was spoken into that fig tree from the very beginning and it was given instructions to bear fruit. Back then, in the Garden of Eden, there was no rain or seasons, and no curse of winter. Back then, the fig tree was instructed to bear fruit at all times, and it was able to bear fruit constantly. If a fruit tree had leaves on it, at the original creation, it had fruit on it. There was no such thing as in-season fruit; it was always in season. Jesus and the fig tree that He cursed, had a prior relationship, one where Jesus walked up to any tree in the Garden of Eden and it was always bearing fruit. Since the fall of man, fig trees came under the same curse, the curse of winter and only bearing fruit in-season. Jesus knew this particular fig tree would not have fruit on it, since it was subject to the rules of times. But Jesus remembered that fig tree when it wasn't under a curse, when life was spoken into it and when it was commanded to bear fruit at all times, and when there was always sweet fruit to satisfy hunger.

Jesus used the cursing of the fig tree to communicate to the Disciples the power they would have in their ministries, but was that the reason Jesus walked up to that fig tree that day, looking for fruit? No one knows if Jesus used it as a set-up to teach the Disciples, but there is more to the story than communicating the power the Disciples would be able to display. It was a reminder of what spoke that fig tree into life at the beginning, that life was created by the power of the word, but also that bearing fruit was a requirement. The Lord's original intent for that fig tree was to bear fruit at all times, without consideration for a season.

Like that original fig tree, you and I were intended to serve the Lord at all times, without regard for seasons. There is more to the analogy of the fig tree than just communicating the power the Disciples would have; Jesus wanted to communicate that if we do not bear fruit then we will be cut off from the Lord permanently. He does not require that we bear fruit only when we feel we are ready; we were created to bear fruit at all times. The Lord's intent for you life is for fruit, even today when you do not feel you are coming into your season yet. The Lord expects you to bear fruit and if you do not, then you will reap the rewards of that fig tree, you will join the fig tree in its curse. Its time to bear fruit, even if you think it is out of season for fruit.

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  Gen 1:1-13, Jer 17:8, Matt 7:15-20, Matt 21:18-22, Mark 11:12-26, John 15:1-8

Monday, May 18, 2020

Will You Respond

Will You Respond
May 18, 2020
Philippians 3:16 "But we must hold on to the progress we have already made."

Jesus appeared to John, one of the original 12 disciples, when John was in his 80s, exiled on the isle of Patmos, where John penned the book of Revelation. Jesus told him to write down all that he saw, both for the present and the future.  There was revelation for the present churches that Jesus wanted to get out, and Jesus called out seven churches specifically, with a brief word from the Lord for them. It was a prophetic word detailed for the specifics of the respective church at that time. The churches, however, represent churches today, too, as the issues addressed were not unique to anything that isn't going on in churches today.

Without going into detail on the seven specific churches, the issues were: forsaking their first love, false doctrine and false prophets inside the church, asleep Christians who still have work to do, and lukewarm Christians needing discipline. While each church clearly had their specific problem the Lord wanted to call out, these issues represent problems that go on inside the walls of our churches today. In fact, we are all likely guilty of one, or more, of the items on the list (at some point). The Lord wanted each church to finish well and admonished them to repent and correct the error.

Your church is not perfect, since is full of imperfect people, but the Lord gives each of us opportunity to repent and correct, both collectively and individually. His message to the churches was clear and John delivered them to the letter. What we don't know, however, is how they responded when they read the letter from John as a prophetic word from Jesus. Did they crumple up the letter and discard it as fake? Did they hear the word but disregard the call to action? If you had received that letter this week in your church, one detailing an error in practices and a call to repent, would you believe the letter and respond? John was pretty credible, so it is not likely they did not believe the message was from Jesus, but how did they react and how far did they get in repenting and correcting the errors in the church?

Churches get it wrong daily, so do Christians. When Jesus had John pen the letters to the churches, He did not wish to destroy the whole church or close their doors, simply adjust what was wrong.  He commended each of them for something because they were getting some things right and perfect, but He wanted them to be blameless in everything. How would you have responded? Jesus wrote you a letter, too, its the whole Bible that you've likely read before. When you read it, do you readily see the error in your ways and repent and correct? How do you respond? Will you respond? You are not likely to get an unique letter from Jesus, rather His Holy Spirit will bring to light your failings, if you're willing to give Him the opportunity. How often do you give Him the opportunity? When He points out the things you need adjusting, are you going to close your ears and refuse to change? This is our biggest tactic when confronted with our imperfections; we deny its truth or discount its validity. What if its true? What if you've forsaken your first love or what if you've fallen asleep and there are still things you need to do for Him?  The Lord is speaking to you even now, about your shortcomings. Will you respond?

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  Rev 2-3

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Offend Your Mind

Offend Your Mind
January 6, 2020
John 6:54  "He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day."

Jesus was often offending the religious elite of His day. He challenged all of them, in their lifestyle, in their practices, and in their belief systems. His teachings were controversial for the day, healing on the sabbath and forgiving sins.  While Jesus appeared as an unassuming man, there was nothing ordinary about what He had to say or about how He challenged everyone to the core. He had mercy on the woman caught in adultery; He completely turned their world's upside down. Jesus was quite offensive, but in a good way.

On one offensive occasion, Jesus was telling the disciples that they needed to eat his flesh. He was teaching His disciples about the bread of life, with Jesus being the bread of life. He said that Christians need to eat of the bread of life if they are to partake in the work of Jesus. The disciples discussed the fact that they would have to literally eat the flesh of Jesus.  They gasped at the idea, thinking how could this be possible. Other pagan religions they were familiar with actually did eat human flesh or drink human blood and this goes against the original instructions from God, given to the Jews through Moses, as documented in Deuteronomy. The disciples were torn and disgusted at the notion of Jesus asking them to drink His blood. 

There is no scenario where Jesus actually made anyone drink His blood or eat His flesh at the time. Jesus died on the cross, rose again, and ascended into Heaven, all without anyone drinking His blood. But Jesus made the strong analogy to get the disciples attention, to reveal what was in their hearts. Jesus often offends the mind to reveal what is in the heart. Jesus was trying to get the heart attention of His disciples, teaching them a concept about their faith that would have to be akin to eating flesh and drinking blood. The disciples did not get it, though, at first. He was revealing to them that they were still thinking in such concrete terms, not understanding fully that Jesus only came to reign in their hearts, not physically on the earth with a human government. They were constantly getting it wrong and He needed to slap them in the face with it. He offended every part of their being, thinking that they would have to drink His blood. It went against their natural understanding of the order of things, still not fully grasping the Kingdom of Heaven.

Their earthly hearts were revealed when they thought Jesus was talking about drinking His earthly blood. Their focus was so in the natural, that He had to offend them to get their minds into the correct realm, the Heavenly realm. Christian, your mind has the chance, in the lazy church today, to grow callused and clouded. The Lord says were are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Often, the Lord is going to go against the teaching of the day, the accepted patterns of the world, to get your attention. Challenging what you know is not always about getting you to doubt what you believe, but to affirm the correct beliefs. If you are not offended on a random basis, by the world and its practices or by the church and its correct teachings, then you are slowly becoming a fixture of the earth.  When you are offended, does your earthly heart reveal a poor character or is the Heavenly Kingdom declared among men? Have you been offended yet about Christianity being about a living sacrifice, your own personal living sacrifice?  
Don't take my word for it; look it up:  John 6:41-66, Romans 12:1-2