Jesus once said, “he who is not scandalized because of me, is blessed”(Mt.11: 6). Our English versions have “not offended in me” or “not fall away because of me.” John the Baptist may have been offended and may have lost faith in Jesus; but the issue may have been much more serious. It seems to me that John felt he was being ridiculed and ashamed of a Messiah that was not delivering him from jail. He felt that he was being scandalized because he had great hope in Jesus. John had become confused and uneasy to be identified with Jesus.
The idea that Jesus is offensive or scandalous has become extremely pathetic in our time and particularly in the U.S.A. It is this country that owes her existence to the Crucified One and His principles. The fact that we have humans bad- mouthing Jesus, the President and anyone they do not like is glaring evidence that we are still living under God’s blessings and grace. Only, how long will our period of grace last before our blessings shall turn into curses? I have lived in three countries where this has happened. After they had removed Jesus and replaced God with Hitler and Stalin, life became intolerable. There was one good thing. No one dared to speak ill of these leaders. Do we want the same things to happen to this country?
I think we could do without scandalizing Jesus or each other. Jesus was against degrading others. He had the severest warning for those that make their living by demeaning a human being. “I tell you,” Jesus said, “anyone who says, ‘You fool’ will be in danger of hellfire” (Mt.5: 22). And those that hinder Christians from trusting Jesus ought to drown themselves with a millstone around their necks (Mk.9: 42). Christians of all people should not forget that God is unapproachable without Jesus (Jn.14: 6). A reference to God without Jesus is empty rhetoric. “He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father” (Jn.5: 23). Then there are these words: “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Ac.4: 12). Underline the must!