Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! Luke 17:1
The word offend is the verb form of a Greek noun that means “stumbling block” or snare. The term refers to the trigger which springs a trap. In the New Testament it means anything that hinders someone from doing what is right or cause one to sin or fall away from the faith. Jesus emphatically warns that stumbling blocks are sure to come our way. Nonetheless, He condemned those who put stumbling blocks in the way of believers. He said that death by drowning would be preferable to offending “one of these little ones” in the faith.
Jesus instructs the disciples then and now, that offence will come, they can’t be avoided, but when they come that the forgiving of offences is a great duty to the servants of God. We shouldn’t try to avenge ourselves, but allow God to avenge us. There is nothing hiding from the eyes of God, and as offences come, we need to pray for the person that committed the offence, because now they are in the hands of an angry God.
Young believers are often open to suggestions that are beyond their ability to reason through, matters both practical and theological. They are new believers in need of much teaching. This is why we have been instructed to study the word of God, so what we teach others will be scriptural (Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth – 2nd Timothy 2:15). False teaching is what has caused different denominations and religion and hypocrisy in the church community. What we teach others, we’re held accountable for it.
We all will sin at one time or another, but Jesus reminded His disciples then and now that there is a greater judgment for those who leads His little ones into sin. There is no more serious violations possible of the law of love. It points to a wayward heart, and as the disciples of Jesus, we must be careful that neither our words, actions or attitude lead others into sin. Sinning is serious; causing others to sin is even more serious. Mature Christians should always have behaviors that younger Christians can learn and grow into maturity by seeing their example of Christianity.
False teaching is increasing, and even with mature Christians, many are led astray by false teaching. False teachers will have to answer to God for every soul they have led astray from the word and principals of God. This is why it is so important for believers to take time to read and study the Bible. When false teachers and false doctrines come, we will know the truth, and it’s the truth that will set us free!