Jesus the Scandal
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The scandal actually began before Jesus was born. A young woman became pregnant before the wedding. We can detect the sting of the offense later in Jesus' life when the mocking crowd says "Isn't this Mary's son...? In Jesus' day children were identified as being their father's sons - unless there was no father.

Upon the occasion of the birth the scandal only got worse. The long-awaited Messiah born in a stable, not a palace; wrapped in rags, not in silk; asleep in a feeding trough, not an ivory crib.

The scandal fanned into flame when the ministry of Jesus began. Now everyone who came into contact with Jesus, it seems, stumbled because of Him. The priests, who we might have expected to recognize and glory in the coming of the Messiah, were offended by Him. Twice, Jesus destroyed their temple marketplace...

...Both priests and Pharisees (religious leaders), as well as the other "religious" people of Jesus' day were offended by the company that He kept. The outcasts of Jewish society, the "sinners," the "people of the land," as the Pharisees called them. Tax collectors, prostitutes, and lepers were frequently gathered around Jesus. His forgiving stance toward them was more than the "religious" people could bear. He went so far as to pronounce their forgiveness, something the scribes and Pharisees knew only God Himself had the authority to do. And of course, they were right.

Jesus' own disciples stumbled because of Him. Jesus spoke (recorded in John's chapter 6) of eating His flesh and drinking His blood. John tells us that upon hearing this many of His disciples were offended and left.

From Michael Card's, "Immanuel, Reflections of the Life of Christ." Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN. Copyright 1990.

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