Are You Offended?

homeless woman with dogs
Photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/livenature/256934977/">Franco Folini</a>

Luke 7:18-23

When John’s students told him all of this, he summoned two of them and sent them to ask Jesus, “Are you the one we’re waiting for, or should we look for someone else?”

When they arrived, they told Jesus, “John has asked us to ask you if you’re the one we’re waiting for, or should we look for someone else?”

As they looked on, Jesus cured many people of their ills and injuries. He rid many of evil spirits, and restored sight to several blind people. Then he told them, “Go and tell John what you’ve seen and heard. The blind see. The crippled walk. The defiled are made pure. The deaf hear. The dead live. The poor are given relief. If you’re not offended about this, you’ll be alright.”

Hard as it may be to imagine, some folk talk a good line about taking care of the sick, the troubled, and the poor, but when it it starts to really change lives, they take offense.

It’s the difference between actually changing people’s economic or social position, and offering a handout that just gets someone by one more day or one more meal. One is revolutionary, the other is just patronizing. One is the real thing, and the other is – well, you may as well look for someone else.

Think about it. If you’re poor, good news – real good news – is not that you’re going to be able to stay the night in a homeless shelter. It’s that you’re not going to be poor any more.

For some people, that’s pretty offensive. It means you might actually have to treat “those people” like equals.