Matthew 18:7 Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!

Mark 9:42 And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.

43 And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:

Romans 14:19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.

20 For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence. (Also verses 15-17.)

21 It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.

I Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

32 Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:

33 Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.


MEMORY VERSE: We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbor for his good to edification. —Romans 15:1-2


CENTRAL THOUGHT: We need to live with the thought in mind that our words and actions influence and affect others, and exercise utmost care that we do not hurt or offend any of our brethren for whom Jesus died.




Matthew 18:7 “Offences” (spelled offenses in modern English): a stick or bait (trigger) for a trap; a snare; a stumbling block; also, any person or thing by which one is drawn into error or sin. When applied to Christ in the Scripture, it means the native rock which rises up through the earth, causing the traveler to trip; hence, He was referred to as the stone of stumbling or the rock of offense.

Mark 9:43 “If thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed…”: “Not that there will be any such thing, as upon the resurrection, going into heaven without a limb; for the words are to be understood, not literally, but figuratively; and the sense is, it is better to part with every thing here, that is detrimental to a man’s doing, or enjoying, what is spiritually good, and enter into eternal life; ‘Than having two hands, to go into hell’: Than by enjoying such persons and things, agreeable to the flesh, to the ruin of the soul, and be cast into hell” (Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible).

I Corinthians 10:33 and Romans 15:1-2 “Please”: from a primitive root meaning to fit together; to serve; to win someone’s favor.




When I began studying the verses for this subject, I found the word offense to mean several different things in Scripture. There is the idea of Jesus being a stumbling block to the Jews, and therefore His cross as well, becoming an object at which they were offended. He also spoke of sufferings and persecutions which arise because of the Word offending souls who were excited about the Christian life at first, but not having the depth of consecration and perseverance to withstand hardships, give up their profession of faith.

Then there is the discussion concerning the strict Jews and how they were being offended by the liberty which the new Gentile Christians displayed in what they could eat or drink. It seems the Jewish Christians, being brought up not eating the marketplace meat which may or may not have been dedicated to idol worship, had a problem with the Gentiles, who, knowing their old idols didn’t mean a thing, weren’t bothered by scruples concerning meat sold down at the market. The Jewish Christians, stumbling at this “offense,” were tempted to give up their belief in Jesus altogether, and go back to their old religion. The Gentiles were tempted to despise those old judging Jews and go overboard displaying their “liberty.” This of course was a hindrance to the sweet unity Christ wanted them to have.

I think Jesus looked ahead and realized the hurdles that would face the new church. His admonition called for carefulness in everyone; care lest the thing you were allowing made you indulge in fleshly living and doom your soul, and care lest you caused someone else to stumble and lose his soul. His pronounced “woe” lets us know the seriousness here. Paul continues dealing with this issue, and stresses the motive we should have in all our dealings with our brother or sister—that of their spiritual profit. Whatever we eat or drink or do, we should do it with the glory of God and the desire not to offend or make another weak. This pure motive for others’ salvation and edification will go a long way in maintaining unity.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck




  1. Offenses Will Come: Name some of the things which cause souls to become offended.
  2. Cut It Off: What is Jesus’s real meaning here?
  3. Meat or Drink: Is he saying outward things are not important at all? What is hestressing?
  4. No Offense: What attitude will keep us from offending others? What attitude will keep US from being offended? 



Jesus cried “Woe,” as an exclamation of sorrow that, with sinful men being what they are, offenses and temptations to sin would be inevitable. However, no one is without a choice. If we then choose to cause others to stumble, then a woe is pronounced upon us!

So we are presented with a choice as to how we deal with the hardships and offenses presented by the cross of Christ, which are going to come because we are no longer part of this world nor protected by it as its own. We don’t belong, and we don’t fit, and we need to accept that and rejoice in it. “Blessed is he whosoever is not offended in me,” Jesus said. And the Psalmist rejoiced, “Great peace have they that love thy law, and nothing shall offend them.”

We also need to accept the fact that we’ll experience some trials and tests from our brothers or sisters in Christ. Getting along in a big family will have its adjustments. Hurts. Disappointments. Misunderstandings. I’ve found this to be true: if I live on the defense (very touchy about my rights, opinions, choices—whatever), I’m just open prey for others to offend me. But if I give others space to be themselves, express themselves, deal with God themselves; while at the same time releasing myself to God, for Him to deal with me, being assured that He loves me, I am set free from constantly being offended.

Our task then is to make sure we live purely before God and charitably toward our brothers and sisters. It is possible to live to please God and at the same time live with the motive and attitude to please our brethren, not because we’re in bondage to them, but because we have a genuine care for their eternal souls.

–Sis. Angela Gellenbeck




Our lesson is dealing with things that are common to mankind— hurts and offenses. Reading in Ezekiel 47, a chapter portraying the gospel, we see that wherever it reached it brought healing, light and life. Notice that in verse 12 the trees growing on the banks of the river had fruit on them and it was never consumed. The fruit was for meat (spiritual nourishment) and the leaves were for medicine (for bruises and sores, the margin in my Bible says). Those bruises and sores were meant to be bound up and healed.

All hurts and offenses need the healing balm of the gospel applied to them. Old wounds with germs and corruption in them carry an odor that doesn’t bring glory and honor to God. Passing under the cleansing fountain purges out all infection down to the root. Thank the Lord for the fountain!

I would like for every reader to look closely at the words of the song, “Does Jesus Care?”

“Does Jesus care when my heart is pained too deeply for mirth and song;

As the burdens press, and the cares distress, and the way grows weary and long?


Does Jesus care when my way is dark with a nameless dread and fear?

As the daylight fades into deep night shades does He care enough to be near?


Does Jesus care when I’ve tried and failed to resist some temptation strong;

When for my deep grief I find no relief, tho’ my tears flow all the night long?


Does Jesus care when I’ve said “goodbye” to the dearest on earth to me,

And my sad heart aches till it nearly breaks, is it aught to Him? Does He see?


Oh, yes, He cares, I know He cares! His heart is touched with my grief;

When the days are weary, the long nights dreary, I know my Savior cares.”

—Bro. James Bell