Taking Offense

Journal Entry // February 19, 2022

Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.

Mark 6:3 ESV

And they took offense at him… This is a painful statement to read about the heart attitude of the people of Nazareth that watched Jesus grow up into adulthood. They had a well defined notion of who Jesus was based on their experience in life of watching him grow and develop into a man. Jesus was already in a box of their own choosing and they would not allow him to change boxes or better yet let him destroy that box completely. He is the carpenter, not this miracle worker claiming to be the Son of God. So they took offense at him. They knew without a doubt the humanity of Jesus and they had no room in their heart for his divinity.

This is painful because I see this same attitude every single day of my life. Jesus is who I say he is and I say who he is based on what is most comfortable for me. Am I an angry person? Then I emphasize the wrathful righteous anger of Jesus upon sin. Am I prideful and arrogant about my sin? Then I emphasize the compassion and mercy of Jesus. I pick and choose the character of Jesus that best fits my felt need and then box him in saying that Jesus can only ever be this way. At least until “I” decide he can change boxes.

What happens to my view of Jesus when it is challenged. If I overemphasize the compassion and mercy of God, then what do I do with how the Lord dealt with Pharaoh in the Exodus? How do I understand in my mind that not only did Pharaoh harden his own heart, but God hardened it for him at times? How do I reconcile that last plague of killing every first born? I take offense…

I do this every single day. Just as Pharaoh refused to humble himself before the Lord, I too see all the evidence of Christ in his multifaceted holiness and refuse to be humbled before him. I am too entrenched in my own perception and understanding of God that I leave no room for the clear and present evidence right before me. I turn a blind eye to my sin and grab hold of my view of Jesus instead of grabbing hold of Jesus himself.

I want to let the word of God change my heart. I want to be humble. I want to see both the humanity and deity of Jesus. I want to see his anger and his compassion. I want my life to always be focused on Jesus and the movement of the Spirit within me. Not in an aimless way, but in a Spirit led maturity through the living word of God. It starts with humility. I want to rid myself of this pride and arrogance that is my constant companion. I want to cast away all doubt. I want to believe. I want to have great faith. A faith that sees Jesus in every single moment. And in every single moment I want to bury my face in his chest and let him wrap his arms around me. Humble, obedient, and dependent upon him alone. Full of grace and mercy and thanksgiving.

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