We began to look at Luke 17:1-4 in Millstone Around Your Neck…No Thanks (Part 1)and we have seen how the word offense isn’t always what we might think or have been taught it to mean. I had boldly declared that I believe that a spirit of offense is not biblically accurate because Luke 17:1 is one of the scriptures used to prove that someone has “agreed with or picked up” this spirit. So, now I want to get down into the depth of this scripture to hopefully bring it to life and wash the words off so we can see clearly what was said. In the previous blog we saw in different translations of Luke 17:1 the words offense, stumbling block, and snare were all used. All these different translations come from the Greek word skandala. This particular Greek word is found four times in New Testament (NT) scripture (Matt 13:41, Matt 18:7, Luke 17:1 and Romans 16:17). Here is the definition of this word according to biblehub.com:
Luke 17:1; σκάνδαλα ποιεῖν παρά τήν διδαχήν, to cause persons to be drawn away from the true doctrine into error and sin (cf. παρά, III. 2 a.), Romans 16:17
So I believe to fully understand what this word “offense” means we must look at the scriptures that uses the same Greek word. Here is the first time skandala is used (when Jesus is explaining the tares growing with the wheat):
“The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness,” Matthew 13:41 NASB
Skandala is used lastly here in scripture:
“Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them.” Romans 16:17 NASB
Above the word skandala is translated as dissensions and hindrances (obstacles/stumbling blocks) that are put up by people and are contrary to what you have learned which causes you to turn away from the original teaching.
Below is the same scripture in another version:
“One final word of counsel, friends. Keep a sharp eye out for those who take bits and pieces of the teaching that you learned and then use them to make trouble. Give these people a wide berth. They have no intention of living for our Master Christ. They’re only in this for what they can get out of it, and aren’t above using pious sweet talk to dupe unsuspecting innocents.” Romans 16:17-18 MSG
This version uses bits and pieces to translate the skandala (obstacle) created by people who lead you away from knowing the full truth of the original teaching of the Gospel of Jesus and His New Covenant that He provided to all who choose to believe Who He is. To understand this a little deeper take a look at this post: What Does God Really Want From You
Luke 17:1-2 is not talking about “hurts or feeling hurt” as many may have been taught. These verses are conveying first and foremost any obstacles set up to remove the simple full truth and full understanding of ALL Jesus accomplished on the Cross should be avoided and it gives a stiff warning to those that do cause or set up obstacles for those seeking relationship with Jesus, it would be better for a millstone to be put around their neck and thrown into the ocean. Notice it doesn’t say that will happen but “they would be better off”. I see these people as ones teaching or telling others they must go through all of these hoops to have a relationship with Jesus either before or after they have believed/acknowledged/accepted Who He is. They make it difficult to stand in the very place that Jesus already made for them to stand. If we look at what Jesus said in Matthew 13:41 these are tares amongst the wheat(these two plants look so similar yet are different), knowingly leading the little ones or children astray from the the full knowledge of what He has already done for us once and for all. They complicate the simple gospel of the New Covenant. Taking the bits and pieces to see what they can get out of it. We must take a wide berth around these types of people.
Jesus proclaimed, It is Finished! Once and for all He purged our sin, took the full brunt of punishment for every sin of every man and woman on earth, and fully paid the price for all of mankind; so we by choosing His free gift can receive ALL that was His. This full message has been picked apart for too long. It is time for His Bride to come into the full, yet simple, knowledge of ALL that was accomplished at the Cross.
We also need to stop using the first part of this scripture to devalue someone’s hurt and pain by telling them, “you have picked up the spirit of offense”. This is a misuse of scripture that devalues the hurt person and removes responsibility from the person whom caused the hurt…but more on that in the next blog….