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John's disciples had just come to see Jesus and asked him if He was the Messiah. “Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached.” Luke 7:22

Then Jesus added “And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me."Luke 7:23

What offense was He talking about?

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John had done a great work in preparing the way for Jesus, the Messiah. John had been the "voice in the wilderness" (Mark 1:2, 3, etc). John knew exactly who Jesus was and greeted him with the title, "Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29).

John also realised when Messiah came his work would diminish and so said, "He [Jesus] must increase and I must decrease" (John 3:30). John baptised Jesus and lost some his disciples to Jesus. Jesus recognised John's greatness and important role and said that "I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John." (Luke 7:28)

John had been imprisoned by Herod (Matt 14:3-5) and John must have known that he would never be released. He was human and his faith wavered. So he sent some his disciples to ask Jesus if Jesus was the promised Messiah, or should we expect someone else (Luke 7:19). I cannot avoid wondering if John hoped that Jesus might help him out of prison, but we are not told.

Jesus replied in the best possible way - look at the signs and wonders - this is evidence of Messiah's credentials. Then Jesus issued a very gentle rebuke to John - "Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me." John was not released but beheaded in prison by a capricious, vacillating monarch. By contrast Jesus eulogised John as a great prophet (Luke 7:24-28).

We see that despite John's greatness as a prophet of God, such people are still very human and need encouragement. [I am glad about this story because it encourages me.]

Note - the word σκανδαλισθῇ (skandalisthē) from "skandalon" means to entrap, i.e. Trip up (transitively) or entice to sin, apostasy or displeasure) in Luke 7:23.

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What offense was Jesus referring to in Luke 7:23? “And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me."

Luke 7:18-23 (NASB)

A Deputation from John

18 "The disciples of John reported to him about all these things. 19 Summoning two of his disciples, John sent them to the Lord, saying, “Are You the Expected One, or do we look for someone else?” 20 When the men came to Him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to You, to ask, ‘Are You the [o]Expected One, or do we look for someone else?"

21 "At that very time He cured many people of diseases and afflictions and evil spirits; and He gave sight to many who were blind. 22 And He answered and said to them, “Go and report to John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have the gospel preached to them." 23 "Blessed is he who does not take offense at Me.”

John by means of his disciples asked Jesus:, “Are You the Expected One, or do we look for someone else?” Most Jews expected that the Messiah would be an earthly king ,**( Jesus apostles held this view, Luke 24:21 )**John may have shared such a view, and perhaps expected that Jesus would do more than he was doing and would free him from his imprisonment.

At that time instead of telling John's disciples, "Yes of course I am the one who was to come! Jesus puts on an unusual display, He cured many people of diseases and afflictions and evil spirits; and He gave sight to many who were blind.

Then Jesus tells them, “Go and report to John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have the gospel preached to them.

In conclusion he told them:" Blessed is he who does not take offense at Me.” With this answer Jesus wanted to assure and satisfy John that He was the "Expected One" that would fulfill God's promises.

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  • I'm thinking that John was in jail at that time and probably thinking he would die soon. He must have been thinking dark thoughts. I would have been. What could Jesus possibly have done to cause offense to John? If it was John He had in mind? – Dan Mar 19 '19 at 21:24
  • Dan: Many of Jesus disciples were offended by what Jesus said and thus no longer walked with him ,John 6:66 ( Read John 6:35-66) John in turn needed faith and discernment not to be offended by Jesus reply . – Ozzie Ozzie Mar 19 '19 at 21:49
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Offence as in not restoring the sanctity of the temple but prophesing its destruction instead.

Offence as in expecting a king of Davidic stature, but instead one who gives to Caesar what's due to Caesar.

Offence as in not being set free from the bondage of the Romans, but being set free from sin instead.

And John is precisely under such a physical bondage, being imprisoned by Herod, the manifestation of Rome's power over the Jews, and the Temple continues to be as corrupted as it had always been.

Christ is the stone the builder rejects, a stumbling block, causing many to stumble and fall and be broken.

Thus blessed is he whom the stone does not stumbles.

Salvation is not of works, for even donkey and Balaam prophesied, but the gift of faith, the assurance that is given only by God the Father, as Peter had to know that Jesus is Messiah.

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  • Hi @Ylzm Ma welcome to Stack Exchange, we are glad you are here. Please be sure to take the site tour (hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/tour). Thank you for your insightful observations--are you saying then that not being offended in Him is accepting what He does do in place of what people may have wanted Him to do? If so, a quick conclusion to that effect would help round out your answer. Thanks! – Hold To The Rod Apr 6 at 16:42

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