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Offensive Good News

• Greg Boyd

The message that Simeon gives Mary has a heavy, ominous tone, as he predicted that Jesus would actually cause many to fall and that people would speak against him. This prophetic message establishes the fact that the good news of the Gospel is much more than set of encouraging thoughts or beliefs, but in fact it is offensive in nature. It offends because it challenges the lives of those who hear it to live a different way.

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The message that Simeon gives Mary has a heavy, ominous tone, as he predicted that Jesus would actually cause many to fall and that people would speak against him. This prophetic message establishes the fact that the good news of the Gospel is much more than set of encouraging thoughts or beliefs, but in fact it is offensive in nature. It offends because it challenges the lives of those who hear it to live a different way.

This way of living stands in contrast to our culture. Believing Jesus is King is not offensive; but the claims of that King on our lives can be. Hearing the Good News leaves us changed and transformed or resistant and offended. It challenges us to turn away from areas of our lives in which we have been living contrary to God’s plan for our lives. The Gospel calls us to believe and to repent, the message Jesus so often preached, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” (Matthew 4:17).

The Greek word for repent, is metanoia, which means to do an about-face (in military terms), to turn around or to start walking in a different direction. Repentance is not necessarily an emotional event, rather it is a decisive act of changing the direction of one’s life or actions. Many falsely assume that repentance is a one-time event. Instead repentance is a reoccurring choice, a day-by-day process of recognizing sin in our lives and turning away from it.

Each person decides how they will receive the message of Gospel. Some will be offended, others will recognize the need for repentance and turn around. The areas of our hearts not surrendered to God in repentance create bondage. However, repentance that causes us to turn around and go in the opposite direction unleashes life and freedom to live for Christ daily. Such a life of repentance cannot be walked out alone. Through the fellowship and support of community gatherings and Covenant Groups, God can help us to see the areas of our weaknesses that we are be blinded to. By the Holy Spirit, we are empowered and able to move in a new direction.

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Topics: Discipleship, Repentance, Transformation


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Focus Scripture:

  • Luke 2:34-35

    Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

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