SOMETHING TO READ AND THINK:
This morning we are continuing our series in Hebrews and today’s passage is incredibly confronting. The risk with these types of passages is that they can make people feel incredibly isolated and they can be used to bully. They can also offend.
Some might argue that scripture shouldn’t offend. But I would argue against that trend. Scripture will offend. It will say things that will challenge us; will challenge our inner being and question the things we do. And if scripture isn’t doing that or we are not allowing it to do that, are we manipulating it in a way that makes us feel good.
Today the scripture may very well offend you or it may at least challenge you. Because it’s not an easy pill to swallow being questioned. But my prayer is that in the challenge it mightn’t be ignored and dismissed with words like, “yeah it says that in scripture, but we live in a different time.” Sometimes that is true; sometimes scripture says something and it isn’t so appropriate today. For instance having slaves. Often scripture will be confronting and we can’t just ignore it to prevent ourselves being offended or prevent others from being offended.
Christ was a confronting figure, yet he was gentle and loving and extended incredible grace. However, Jesus also confronted. I go back to the story in John 8 where the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery to him for his (Jesus) judgement. In the exchange we are reminded that each of us is sinful and cannot cast the first stone, but we are also confronted by this statement by Jesus to the women: “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
It would be easy to suggest from John 8 that grace covers everything, which is very true. But we are still called to sin no more. A confronting statement by Jesus. One in which we could easily take offence nowadays when we are told that nothing is a sin if it doesn’t harm anybody.
Through scripture we can be easily offended. My prayer for our church is that we wouldn’t avoid being offended, but we would take the challenge on the chin and live more into that which Christ intends for us.