Scandalous Grace

Luke 7:22-23
By: Amber Knowles, Executive Director, Fostering Family

May 14, 2019

And [Jesus] answered them, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”

Luke 7:22–23

In Luke 7, John inquires into the true identity of Jesus, which ought to be surprising. Why? Because John had baptized Jesus. John was an eyewitness to the Holy Spirit descending upon Jesus in the form of a dove, accompanied by a voice from heaven declaring Jesus to be the beloved Son of God (Luke 3:21-22). That’s not the sort of thing you forget!

And yet, the Messiah did not come as expected. Not even John expected Jesus’ ministry to take the form that it did. John was looking for an “unquenchable fire” (John 3:17). But did Jesus have it in him? Despite all the sick-healing and dead-raising and gospel-preaching, John had his doubts.

So in response to John’s inquiry, Jesus says, “Blessed is the one who is not offended by me.” More literally, Jesus says, “Blessed is he who is not scandalized in me.” In Greek, a skandalon is a stumbling block, a rock of offense. Blessed is he who does not stumble over Jesus.

If God brings awakening to the city of Houston, we can confidently say that He will not leave behind the sick, the outcast, the poor, or the orphan. That would be radically out of character (Deut 10:17-19). On the contrary, gospel awakening will be good, good news for the marginalized. Remember that. As we pray fervently. As we plant churches. As we push back the darkness. Remember that Jesus is kneeling in the dust to serve the weak. Take care not to stumble over Him.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, awaken your Church. Open our eyes to the poor and marginalized in our midst. Grant healing to the sick. Grant belonging to the outcast. Grant freedom to the captive. Grant homes to the homeless. Grant fathers to the fatherless. May the city of Houston find these things in the midst of your people, filled with your Spirit, basking in your presence, kneeling in the dust. Amen.