7. Get Over It

Reading List

One passage per day for a whole week, based on the sermon:

  1. Matthew 15:21-28 (Faith of the Canaanite woman – Not a Jew)
  2. Matthew 8:5-13 (Faith of the Centurion – Not a Jew)
  3. Romans 9, particularly verses 30-33 (Jesus is called the “Rock of Offence” in the King James Version because he offers a way to salvation for non-Jews that relies on faith, not on works)
  4. Luke 17:1-19 (that which causes one to stumble = offense)
  5. Matthew 21:28-46 (especially verse 42, the “Stone of Offence” from #3 becomes the “Chief Cornerstone” of our faith)
  6. 1 Peter 2 (especially verse 8)
  7. 1 Corinthians 1:18-31 (especially verse 23)

eGroup Curriculum – Questions also great for personal reflection/journaling.

[Nick: The Greek word that Pastor Robert focuses on (without going into too much detail) here is skandalon, that which offends, or causes to stumble, from which we get our English word “scandal.” It’s usually used as a negative term because it generally causes people to sin or turn away from God. But it’s also used to describe Jesus because he did not meet their expectations of what the Messiah should have been, and thus they did not believe in him.]

Also see: Scandal of Grace by Hillsong UNITED

Get Over It

Pastor Robert Madu’s sermon focused on the story of the Canaanite Woman from Matthew 15:21-28.

21 Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.”

23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”

24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”

25 The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.

26 He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”

27 “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”

28 Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.”And her daughter was healed at that moment.

Matthew 15:21-28, NIV

He began his sermon by sharing a clip from a previous sermon he preached at Elevation. He talked about how 90% of the comments on that clip were good, but he only screenshotted the 10% that were bad. He talked about the comments from that clip and how easily some people were offended by an illustration he used.

It’s sad that some people miss transformational truth because they were offended.

Victimhood has gone viral. You have a constitutional right to be offended. The United State of Offense. Everyone feels offended! And if you don’t, someone will be offended for you!

An offense that’s serious to me might be silly to you. (Example: PETA’s suggestions for revising idioms that are meat-based or suggest violence against animals.)

It’s like the old game Operation; everyone has a nerve or a button that if pressed our nose lights up like Rudolph.

And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.

Matthew 24:10, NKJV

A culture of offense is one of the signs of the end times.

Then He said to the disciples, “It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come!

Luke 17:1, NKJV

When Jesus, who can heal the sick and raise the dead, says something is impossible, we need to listen up!

Offense is what happened. An event. (Nick: Something that makes us want to turn away from God/faith/obedience.)

Offended is a reaction. A decision. (Nick: A decision that our indignation/pride is more important than surrender.)

What is your current level of “offendability”? Our level of offendability correlates to our spiritual maturity.

Pastor Robert Madu said that while praying, he felt God saying to him: “I have big things in store for you but you’ll never be able to handle the big things because it takes the smallest things to offend you.”

It is in the nature of Jesus to offend you.

(He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and the truth has a tendency to be offensive–John 14:6) — (Nick: Jesus was a stumbling block/scandal/offensive to the Jews because he told them they were whitewashed tombs that looked good on the outside but were full of dead things on the inside–Matthew 23:27 and 1 Corinthians 1:23.)

Jesus might be putting a miracle on the other side of an offense for you to get over.

You don’t get offended in isolation. Getting offended by Jesus means you’re in a relationship with Jesus. That’s a good thing!

It would take a lot of courage for a Canaanite women walk up to Jesus, who was a Jew–but she was desperate–the devil was messing with her daughter.

STUMBLING BLOCKS: (1) being ignored, (2) institutions, (3) insignificance, (4) being insulted.

Stumbling Block #1: Being Ignored

Jesus did not answer a word.

the first half of Matthew 15:23, NIV

When the woman begs Jesus for help, at first he does not reply.

The pain of being ignored is worse than the pain of being rejected.

If you reject me, at least I know you feel. But if you read my text and you don’t respond, that’s even worse!

We have an incessant need to be acknowledged. (Nick: Case in point: Social media.)

Stumbling Block #2: Institutions

His disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”

the second half of Matthew 15:23, NIV, emphasis mine

Us = They think she’s calling after them but she’s really just calling after Jesus.

Have you ever been offended by people in the church?

The disciples show that sometimes the offense doesn’t come from Jesus, but from the people that bear his name.

Never project the nature of man onto the character of God. (Hebrews 13:5 — “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”)

If you stay, God will speak.

Stumbling Block #3: Insignificance

[Jesus] answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”

Matthew 15:24, NIV

Offenses are like lenses–I only see my situation through the lens of my offense. “Lord, help me to see things the way they truly are.”

There’s a difference between precedence and insignificance. He gives an illustration of a sprained ankle and a gunshot wound in an emergency room. Are either one of them insignificant? Who gets precedence? “Your urgency is not my emergency.”

Narcissism leads to offense about things that aren’t even about you.

The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.

Matthew 15:25, NIV

The woman changed her posture: “Just help me.” She worshiped.

Stumbling Block #4: Being Insulted

26 He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”

27 “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”

Matthew 15:26-27, NIV

Pastor Robert says the use of the word “dog” here is like a pet dog, not a wild dog. While a dog is still a dog, a wild dog has no place, but a pet dog does. A pet dog gets to come home with the Master.

(Nick: I am no Greek scholar but in looking up the Greek words for “dog” in this passage and other New Testament passages, here’s what I found: The word “dog” is used in a mostly negative way, e.g. in Philippians 3:2, “Watch out for those dogs, those evildoers,” and the Greek word there is kyon. But in the passage above, Jesus uses the term kynarion, the diminutive form of kyon, which means “little dog”–I don’t know if that means size or age, but this version of “dog” is used only in this story.)

Turn your stumbling blocks into stepping stones.

She got over her offenses and received her miracle.

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