“And blessed is any person who does not take offense at Me.'” – Matthew 11:6
Jesus has answered John the Baptist’s tough question very specifically. John had sent a message to Jesus from prison (Matthew 4:12) through his disciples. He seems to wonder if Jesus is truly the Messiah (Matthew 11:1–3). Jesus responded by connecting His healing miracles and preaching to prophecies from Isaiah (Matthew 11:4–5).
John probably expected the Messiah to quickly bring God’s judgment on those in Israel who had not repented of their sin, as well as Israel’s oppressors. His question might have been an expression of doubt. Or, it might have been a way to express confusion—as if saying, “Jesus, are you going to do these things, or not?”
This was a common misunderstanding of Jesus’ followers prior to His crucifixion and resurrection (Matthew 16:21–23; John 2:22). Jesus has shown that the Messiah will come with healing and hope, as well as the promise of God’s judgment.
Jesus concludes His answer to John’s disciples by declaring “blessed” the one who “does not fall away.” This phrase in Greek is hos ean mē skandalisthē en emoi. This can also be translated as “the one who does not take offense at Me,” as in the NASB. There is a connection here to the English term “scandalize:” Jesus is subtly warning not to give up belief because He doesn’t immediately meet a person’s expectations. Assumptions are part of our fallible nature, and can be wrong.
Jesus is the only way to God the Father (John 14:6), but He is also the stumbling block that people will trip over in their attempts to reach God because they do not believe that He is the Christ (Isaiah 8:14; Romans 9:33). Many people, both in Jesus’ era and today, reject God specifically because He does not fit their preferences or their demands.
Oh…this is an incredible verse and an incredible explanation. How true is all of this? Jesus is the stumbling block and the cornerstone all at one. The only way to the Father and the cause of some not knowing the Father because of their lack of belief in Him.
May we all see Jesus in all of it. May we all lean more and more into Him each and every day as we seek the Father more.