by Steven Chan
6 December 2009
In John 6, Jesus taught his disciples some things which they found difficult to accept – in fact, they found it offensive to their long-held beliefs – and as a result some of them were so offended that “from that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.” (John 6:66).
Being offended is something that can happen to us. However, it is important to consider carefully whether we are right in being offended. The disciples were offended. But were they right in being offended? In Gen 4:6-7, we learned about how Cain was offended and was angry when the Lord did not accept his sacrifice: “So the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.” Cain was not right to be offended. So when we are offended, let us be careful, lest we fall into sin – like Cain.
In John 6, after some of the disciples were offended by the teachings of Jesus, they “went back and walked with Him no more”. Sometimes when we are offended, we also stop doing the will of God. We were active doing whatever we can for the Lord in the local congregation. Then something happened and we were offended. So, what do we do? Often, we just stop doing whatever we have been doing. That’s what the devil wants to achieve in the brotherhood – to discourage us so that we stop doing whatever we have been doing for the Lord because we have been offended.
When “MANY of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more” (John 6:66), “Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?” (John 6:67). Are you influenced by others to do the same and stop doing the good that you are doing – just because we are discouraged or offended? “Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (John 6:68-69).
We cannot stop doing all we can for the cause of Christ regardless of whether we have been offended or discouraged by others because like Peter, we know that the Jesus is the Son of God and He has the words of eternal life – how can we turn back from Him and stop following Him? Our faith and service to the Lord should not be adversely impacted by what others may say or do. Let us not forget that it is the Lord that we serve.
In Gal 6:7-10, the Bible exhorts us: “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.” It is not unusual for one to occasionally feel weary in doing good but the Bible tells us not to lose heart or stop, but to keep on doing good because in due season we shall reap if we faint not or lose heart. Are you losing heart in doing whatever you are doing for the Lord – so much so that you want to quit and be like others who have also quit or have remained idle in the Lord’s vineyard? The Bible exhorts you not to lose heart – to keep on keeping on doing good – the Lord’s blessings will be upon you – God knows what you have been doing. Brethren, let us not grow weary in well doing. Let’s all put our hands to the plow (Luke 9:62).