Lest We should Offend Them

March 2, 2016 at 12:39 pm | Posted in Matthew | 4 Comments
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Born-again Christians have great freedom in Christ Jesus (Galatians 5:1). This freedom allows us to fulfill the law of Christ, which is not burdensome for those for have experienced Christ’s love (Galatians 6:2). Within this freedom and this law there is room for different convictions, or degrees of conviction, over some personal standards, even among unified believers.

Matthew Chapter 17 records the Lord’s amazing journey as He goes – in the space of a few short verses – from the glory of the Mount of Transfiguration to being faced with the apparent inability to even pay a small tax.

And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute?

Matthew 17:24

This would have been a perfect opportunity for a worldly king to say, “ME???? Pay tribute? I’m the King. Subjects pay tribute to the King – they don’t exact it from him!”

This was not the way of the Heavenly King, however. Instead, He taught Peter a lesson about the importance of not giving offense in matters where it is unnecessary to do so.

Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee.

Matthew 17:27

Jesus was and is God. Couldn’t He have just caused the piece of money to materialize in Peter’s pocket, rather than the complex miracle with the fish? Of course He could have! However, Peter’s fishing trip emphasized not only Christ’s dominion over the fish of the sea, but also the idea that the King’s followers should be willing to go to great lengths to keep those with different convictions from stumbling. Never lord your freedom over a brother or sister in Christ when it seems that they perceive themselves to have a higher conviction from you in a relatively minor matter – even if you must go to great lengths to keep your liberty from being a stumbling-block to your brother or sister (I Corinthians 8:9-13).


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  1. […] began showing us the humility of the King in Chapter 17 with the account of the King Who paid tribute. Jesus helped Peter to understand the practicality of glory. God’s glory, if it is to reflected […]

  2. […] Even though He was truly a King, there were times in His earthly ministry when Jesus submitted Himself to examination by inferior and unsuitable examiners. They questioned Him about taxes: […]

  3. […] while they abode in Galilee, Jesus said unto them, The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men: And they shall kill […]

  4. […] (Matthew 15:22-28) 34. Revealed Truth (Matthew 15-16) 35. A Glimpse of His Glory (Matthew 16-17) 36. Lest We should Offend Them (Matthew 17) 37. The Humble King (Matthew 18) 38. Who Is the Greatest? (Matthew 18:1-4) 39. Decrees […]

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