Matt. 5:29 (KJV) And if your right eye OFFENDS you, pluck it out, and cast it from you: for it is profitable for you that one of your members should perish, and not that your whole body should be cast into hell.
Matt. 5:29 (AMP) If your right eye serves as a TRAP TO ENSNARE YOU or is an occasion for you to stumble and sin, pluck it out and throw it away. It is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be cast into hell.
Offense / Offend –
skan´-dal-on — “scandal” a stick trap (bent sapling), i.e. snare—a thing that offends, a stumbling block.
Satan’s Trap works through the part of you that reaches for the bait. If it’s an eye or hand, Jesus said cut it off before it drags you to Hell. But what if it’s your attitude or thought that’s reaching to engage with something you don’t like or disagree with, that offends you? In today’s culture of Victimization, Fault-finding, and Strife masquerading as Advocacy, people with Offended Attitudes are considered social heroes. But Jesus says they’re just prisoners of offense. And Jesus said, when it’s your Attitude that becomes stuck in The Trap of Offense, (just like the eye or hand) drop the issue before it enslaves you. In fact, an offended attitude is the most damaging to your life because it enslaves Your Heart, which is the part of you through which faith and love must flow.
Matt. 5:29 (KJV) And if your right eye OFFENDS (TRAPS) you, pluck it out,…
Jesus isn’t condemning the Bait, He’s condemning the TRAP!! He’s not giving a social rebuke against all the things in the world that can BAIT your attitude. He’s warning YOU not to become Trapped by their Offense. In short, no matter of how valid your Claim is about the Offense that Baits you, if you become trapped by strife, your enslavement is much worse for you than the issue that baited you.
The Trap Of Offense Belongs to Satan
2Tim. 2:24-26 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; and that they may recover themselves out of the SNARE (TRAP) OF THE DEVIL, who are taken captive by him at his will.
In the 1860s an illegitimate Irish boy named Joel Chandler Harris worked on a plantation in Georgia, and spent all his spare time with the slaves. He later went on to compiled the life lessons and stories he learned from his older slave mentors, into a series called The Uncle Remus Stories. One of the most classic stories, dealt with avoiding offense, and has been traced back to Africa, with variations of the story circulated around the world. It’s called, THE TAR-BABY.
The 2 main characters are a clever Rabbit, named Br’er Rabbit, and an conniving fox named, Br’er Fox. Br’er Fox is always trying to capture Br’er Rabbit, and devises a surefire secret weapon especially designed to work against Br'er Rabbit's greatest weakness: his pride. He fashions a doll from tar and turpentine, called The Tar Baby, dresses him in clothes and sets him up at the side of the road where Br’er Rabbit’s certain to pass by and try to greet the Tar-Baby. Knowing that the Tar-Baby won’t respond to Br’er Rabbit, and Br’er Rabbit's ego won't let him overlook "offenses", Br’er Fox simply slides undercover beside the road and waits for the magic to work.
Sure enough, Br’er Rabbit comes along, greets the Tar Baby, who rudely ignores him. With his ego offended, Br’er Rabbit can’t leave it alone, starts brawling with the Tar-Baby and is immediately trapped and helpless to escape Br’er Fox, who’s waiting. Whatever African wisemen devised the Tar-Baby proverb they nailed the schematic of Satan's Trap Of Offense.
2Tim. 2:24, 26 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves…SO THAT they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
If we are going to be effective in the Harvest today we’re going to have to know how to deal with Entrapped Offended people. It takes an Overcomer to lead someone else out of the Trap Of Offense. Christians can NEVER help someone recover from Offense as long as they themselves are in strife. To be an overcomer YOU MUST know how to walk past Tar Babies. If you fail to recognize the Tar Babies that Br’er Fox sets up along your path, you’ll never have victory over Satan.
I can hear someone justifying the Trap of Offense they’re caught in by the importance of its Bait. But Satan has engineered that reasoning into his traps. The more important the strife, the better the trap. Tar Babies are by design, crafted to appeal to YOUR issues and idiosyncrasies. Satan's got a Tar Baby out there aimed right at your weak spot.
The Schematic of an Offense
It takes 2 Parts for an Offense to Trap You: Someone has to GIVE the opportunity to be offended, Someone has to TAKE the opportunity to be offended.
No Taker, No Trap.
Matt. 5:29 If YOUR right eye serves as a TRAP TO ENSNARE YOU or is an occasion for you to stumble and sin, (YOU) pluck it out and throw it away.
WARNING: This is going to be really hard to swallow. Jesus’ warns that the Person is Trapped by their OWN Offense! If YOUR Right Eye…
Br’er Fox’s doll was just the Tar-Baby until Br’er Rabbit started fighting with it and turned it into His own Trap! SO THEN who’s more responsible for the trap you’re in? The Taker always blames the Giver.
We condemn those that Give Offense as Criminals while exalting those that Take Offense as Victims. We’ve taken all the responsibility for being mature, forgiving, understanding, and patient away from those that Take Offense and made those that Give Offense responsible for the Taker’s Rage.
THE CULTURE OF OFFENSE:
Satan’s Plan Against People Coming To GOD
Matt. 24:12 And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.
Mark 4:17 (Those who) have no root in themselves,…endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately THEY ARE OFFENDED.
Modern Christianity doesn't even train Christians to avoid Offenses. Instead we foster a culture of offense by preaching the doctrine of victimization: The Right To Be Offended. The advent of the digital age, that has connected the world, has produced the ability to Accelerate The Trap Of Offense globally at a exponential rate. Social media Connects all offenses. People become infuriated within days of an offense half a world away. Strife sparks in Minneapolis and within hours the nation’s burning. The global media is an fire accelerant to smoldering souls, already trapped and waiting to burn.
2Tim. 2:24 the servant of the Lord MUST NOT STRIVE
Jesus does not permit His People to Handle Tar-Babies! The Reason? Because today's Offendee is tomorrow's Offender. It's the nature of the Tar-Baby to transfer himself to the one who Grabs him. You can disagree with what people think or say. But before you start hitting the Tar Baby remember who's waiting in the weeds.
Offended Christians demonstrate that the Holy Spirit isn’t working in them. The only thing that should offend you as a Christian is your own sin! Rather than encouraging others to be offended, by validating their unforgiveness, let's encourage one another to endure insults and overlook faults.
Prov. 14:29 Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.
Prov. 19:11 A person’s wisdom makes him slow to anger, and it is his GLORY to overlook an offense.
Christians must be covered in GOD’s GLORY to be effective in an offended society. But carrying the slogans of the world’s offenses is the Greatest Sign of believer’s Immaturity. There isn't a scene in the Gospels where someone wasn't setting up a Tar Baby to trap Jesus. But Your Salvation was too important to Jesus to lose it in the quicksand of strife.
Rev. 3:11 I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, in order that no one take your crown.