Read Luke 7:18-35
"Blessed is the man who does not fall away (skandalizo ) on account of me."
In these verses we find Jesus elaborating on the role of John the Baptist in sections. In the first section (verses 18-23) Jesus answers the question that John’s disciples put to Him ‘Are you the one to come?’. John had preached that the coming Messiah would also come in judgement but it seems that Jesus was ‘only’ preaching, reaching out, healing and setting people free from demons and not releasing them from the tyranny and injustice that surrounded them. However judgement would eventually come. The Pharisees for example, by refusing to prepare themselves by heeding John the Baptist’s preaching and call to be baptised, ‘rejected God’s plan for them’ (vs 30). They would only have themselves to blame for the coming judgement. This is indeed true of anybody who refuses the Lord and chooses to live as they want and not according to the Gospel.
The word comes from the Greek ‘skandalon' which was a stick or a rock that would make an animal trip and fall into a trap. Many people then and now do not accept Jesus as he really is but as they want Him to be. When faced with His exclusive assertion that He is the only way to the Father, His call to radical conversion and the Gospel’s high moral demands, people find this as a stumbling block and even fall away from the faith and spirituality. Our pilgrimage to the Holy Land reminds us that we are 'pilgrims by nature', and that we need ask the Lord for perseverance till the very end, so we will reach our eternal destiny.
Lord help me embrace you as You have revealed yourself. Let me not be shaken when I hear the challenge you put before me to follow you even when it is difficult and it goes against what the world around me is telling me. Indeed Lord, help me persevere till the very end.