The use of Jesus’ term, a Greek word that Jesus and writers of the Gospels and Paul used in an unique way, has received a narrow treatment of meaning. The spectrum of meaning and application has been narrowed, in fact, so much that we have lost some of the unique meaning that Jesus assigned to the word.
The word, skandalon, from which we get our word, scandal, is ancient but obscure until Jesus uses it and opens the door for other New Testament writers to open the blossom of its revelatory fragrance. While most of the uses of this term are deeply rooted in Old Testament prophets, the term is not used that much in translating from Hebrew to Greek in the Septuagint. Jesus lifts this word, a special descriptor, to a new level in revealing the strategy of hell in the ecclesia and the last days.
Jesus ties offense to last days and ultimates, while addressing this mechanism of hell as prevalent and pervasive, giving everyone a strongly worded warning about the use of entrapment to cause us to be off-balance, stumble, and fall.
Matthew 5, “if eye or hand offend you, pull it out or cut if off and throw it away from you.” The serious nature of offense is revealed and the appropriate response to the urgency we should feel toward this danger. If something very close and precious, valuable and necessary, is the source of entrapment, do what is necessary to remove the source of entrapment from your life.
Now, I must ask you a serious question: Do you even come close to taking what causes you to stumble, be off-balance, or fall down or the capture of a trap as seriously as you should? Because, if you are not, that thing is going to be a more powerful snare now in this season than ever before.
Matthew 13, The cause of offense are close by, seeds sown at inception, particularly associated with root issues in our lives. The skandalon are people! People are the source of the words and behaviors that affect negative change in our thinking and push us off-balance or make us victims of an ensnaring mind game. We get into cul-de-sacs of mental paralysis that remove us from our place and position of fulfilling destiny and purpose. This constant will be altered in the end, but right now we must become experts at avoiding the ensnaring work of hell that is as near to the root issues of our lives.
The purpose of skandalon is to destroy faith and push you away, isolate you, put you in a cage where you cannot function as a member of the Body.
Jesus uses skandalon especially in the end of things or crisis mode sense: that is, Jesus prepares His disciples for what is coming because what is coming will be an occasion for offense, more so as the crisis escalates.
Offenses are inevitable does not mean that we have some requirement to offend but that the world in which we live and the root issues we are in process of overcoming to be more nearly perfect are occasions for skandalon. People used by hell to bait these root issue to entice our attention, stub our toes, and lure us into a spring-loaded snare. In the snare, the bait we desired enlarges the root issue.