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!
This is a great grievance, our Lord Jesus Christ having been offended several times by the Pharisees who could not receive him. When he tried to make himself known or his Father known to the world, they were offended by him and could not accept his word and deeds.
This is a great woe, and more or less even a curse on the world. Offences abound, in this present time and everywhere. You say one thing and people take it another, they are not able to understand it as you know it neither are they able to take it as you want them to take it. This is a great distress to the world, in the times when they come.
Today, as I find it, people try to live peaceably with one another but others are just troublemakers, who do not understand the times in which they live in. These are outdated men, who still live according to the law or to former times, and do not embrace change. The world now is moving towards peace because it has realized the consequences after a world war, but some are just marring this image.
The woe pronounced is not to the one that the offence comes to but to the one through whom it comes. You may be a peace-loving person but your sense of peacefulness can be an irritation to another person. Alie? Therefore, it is not so much about offending someone that is the problem but rather, being an offence to some persons. They could turn your peacefulness for example to hatred and in that sense overcome you with their evil.
Our Lord says, “Offences are necessary” but what is the essence of this necessity? Offences need to come so people can prepare themselves for the next world, as we find in the following verses (Matthew 18:8-9). It is when you are offended that you are better able to judge and think rightly. Most of the times, we give ourselves or people the benefit of the doubt and treat them all as equal. But, it is when they offend us that we think twice about them and what they are capable of. So, when offences abound, people will lean on to God as there will not be any perfect man on earth here, because they themselves will be falling short (cp. Matthew 5:44-46).
This will be a great time of distress and we the church must pray that we will be out of it, that we will be taken out of the tribulation that is to come at that time. Peace!