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Quite a sports enthusiast at a young age, I dated a defensive end of the New York Giants football team for a brief time. I loved watching the team scrimmage and establish strategies to defeat their opposition. They didn't play "to play"; they played to win!

Modern dictionaries afford various definitions for the word, offense; one of them being "the side that is attacking or attempting to score in a game."

Whereas the antonym (opposite), defense is "the tactics used to defend oneself or one's goal in a game."

From these two definitions we can conclude that the offense/offender is the aggressor and the defense is the defender.

Scripture teaches that Jesus is our Mediator, our Defender, our Arbitrator, our "District Attorney" between Father God and the relentless aggressor, more commonly known as the "accuser of the brethren," Satan himself (Rev. 12:10).

Being sinners, we need a Public Defender (Jesus) to "...wipe out the handwriting of requirements that was against us...having nailed it to the cross" (Col. 2:14) a debt, paid in full by the blood of Jesus 2000 years ago!

Outrageously, our Lord Jesus Himself experienced "offense" (an act of insulting, hindering, attempting to cause one to stumble) from family members who were not aware of the purposes of His earthly mission!

The Gospel of Mark, chapter six, shares Jesus' encounter with rejection and offensive remarks from loved ones who had observed His growing years in the town of Nazareth. (Could this be where the saying originated, "familiarity breeds contempt"?)

Among themselves, the townsfolk debated about the astonishing wisdom and miracles that were performed by His hands, but in their human rationale, they purposed their hearts to succumb to offense and unbelief.

Jesus responded to their uncomely behavior by saying, "A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house." Mark 6 says:
Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, brother of James, Joses, Judas and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us? So they were offended at Him.
(Mark 6:3)
Most probably, these were the people who saw the Baby Jesus become a toddler, a student of Torah, a teenager, a young adult, etc. They choose to view Him in a disagreeable light, as they were uncomfortable with the power of the supernatural that was demonstrated in His life.

Their offense was a hindrance to right conduct and a right perspective that inevitably caused other brethren to stumble into unbelief and criticism. In football, this is called "fumbling!"

These people reasoned themselves out of the miraculous! How could the carpenter be such a Miracle Worker! In their stubborn defense of their own perception, they attempted to "out maneuver" and defeat the opposition who believed that Jesus was the Messiah.

They joined the ranks of the Pharisees, Sadducees and other religious sects that were yielded to the spirit of offense regarding the ministry of the Man in Whom the wisdom of God and the miraculous was manifested! Matthew's exhortation in Matthew 11:6, "And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me (Jesus)."

Yet we must take notice that Jesus refused to allow their offense to become His offense! Neither their offensive remarks, their emotional outbursts, or their aggressive rejection of Him and His ways were able to discount or dismantle the work of God and the plan of God that was ordained for Him!

Anyone that has been in ministry for any season of time will experience similar unbelief and rejection by those within their immediate arena of influence. Usually these types of offenses come from brethren who have allowed jealously, anger, resentment, bitterness, confusion, accusation, vindictiveness, retaliation and vengeance to take root in their lives.

Some brothers and sisters develop a "vendetta" mentality, that says, "I'll fix them, get them; they won't get away with this!" These are very wounded individuals that need healing and deliverance and usually don't realize the kind of pain they are causing others with their remarks, rumors and criticisms.

In fact, numerous pastors and leaders leave the ministry every year because of offenses described here.

Even Jesus, the Master of the Universe, was limited in His hometown of Nazareth as Mark 6:5 says,
Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them.
(Mark 6:5)
Offense yielded unbelief, which squashed the potential for unlimited miracles! Traveling throughout less familiar surroundings availed mighty miracles as Jesus preached and "healed every sickness and every disease among the people" (Matt. 9:35).

Daily newscasts speak of wars, controversy, perversion in and out of the Church, hostility in local cities as well as global situations, greed among people groups for acquisition of land and goods and the like.

Let us, the children of God, maintain His perspective! Psalm 62:2,6 says, "He only is my Rock and my Salvation; He is my Defense; I shall not be greatly moved!"

Let not offense grip your heart, emotions, life, family or ministry! Wisdom says, "Our best offense is His defense and in Him, alone, we will trust!"

Copyright © Leaves of Healing Ministries
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Lorraine Coconato
Web site: Leaves of Healing Tabernacle
Pastor Lorraine Coconato and her husband Frank of almost 40 years, along with their elder son, Pastor Todd Coconato, (Associate Pastor) have pastored Leaves of Healing Tabernacle in Chatsworth, CA for 6 1/2 years.

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