By: Brittany Fiscus-van Rossum
Matthew 11:2-11
Reflection—v. 6 ‘blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me’

I find it equal parts satisfying and disconcerting that Jesus’ message continues to shock and offend our delicate sensibilities. In this conversation with John’s disciples Jesus quotes a revelatory passage from Isaiah to convey the depths of what the God we follow is really about—the lowly will be brought up, the dead will be raised, and the poor will have good news. The whole world will be transformed wherein those without get what they need, and everyone is seen, acknowledged and valued. ‘Blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me,’ he says, as if healing, life, and goodness could be offensive. And yet, those of us who worry that we have something to lose do take offense at such a radical image of hope. That is why every year as we discuss our way through the Gospel narratives, someone, often unwittingly, will have push-back for Jesus. ‘Jesus isn’t saying its bad to be rich, right?’ ‘Jesus’ good news isn’t only for the poor, right?’ We live in a world in which some of us have more than what we need to live comfortable, cushy lives, while others go without their basic needs being met. And yet God made us all to live and thrive. Jesus comes to set us free from the things we grasp onto so tightly so that we may actually desire to live in a world where all God’s children are valued. To those of us with something to lose, it can be offensive, but blessed are those who come to see another way.

Prayer: God, may we delight in your good news, even as it challenges us to change our ways!

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