March 1

Matthew 13:56-58 56Aren't all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?" 57And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, "Only in his hometown and in his own house is a prophet without honor." 58And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.

At first Jesus' hometown folk were impressed with Him. When they figured out what He was saying, they looked for reasons to be upset with Him. A person that does not like the message will soon develop a critical spirit and begin to find fault in the messenger. The Greek word for 'offense' is skandalizo which comes from the noun skandalon. Skandalon is the word used for the trigger of a trap. It is the lever that causes the trap to spring shut. When we look for faults in others, we are searching for something to grab hold of for accusation. The accuser of the brethren is Satan. We don't realize that when we seize that trigger, the trap closes in on our mind. From that time forward all that person's perfections appear in our mind as flawed. We assign motives that were never in that person's mind, thinking we are more spiritual. Remember that the unredeemed find fault in the church every day. This attitude is not a sign of spirituality but rather of immaturity.

Those hometown folk that were with Jesus did not accept the call on His life, even as He read of that call from the Word of God. "How could this man be the one Isaiah wrote of? We know His sisters! He didn't study under a great rabbi! How dare He claim a relationship with God that is greater than ours and instruct us!" When Jesus shared that His message would go to the Gentiles and reminded them of examples of the same in their own Bible, they tried to kill Him. It is sad that He could not do miracles there because of their refusal to believe and have faith in Him. The trap they had sprung on themselves not only kept the miraculous from blessing the city, but it prevented them and those they influenced from entering the kingdom of heaven. The very people Jesus had grown up among, as a living example of a holy child, teen and young adult, refused the salvation they had been waiting for.

Don't reach for that trigger! If you already have, repent! God can free you from the trap, if you will confess your sin. The revelation of an error in another is the call to intercede, not build a condemning faction around. Is that how you would like Jesus to treat you? (Ephesians 4:32; Matthew 6:14,15)

Warning: Don't let a critical spirit enslave your thought life. Always look for the good, not the fault. (Romans 12:21)