Jesus the Scandalon
In the advent season (coming toward) we can clearly see that the coming of Christ is a great mystery, but also a great scandal or as the Greek puts it "Scandalon". Not that Jesus is scandalous in the way we think of scandal today, but the Greek gives it the idea more of a stumbling stone which is what Scandalon means. I have thought today of three ways that Jesus is the scandalon of God and on your way to God you must stumble over Him (Jesus). For He said it Himself, "I am the way the truth and the life no one comes to the Father but through me."
1. Jesus lineage is a scandalon
Tamar: pretended to be a prostitute in Gen 38
Rahab: was a prostitute that helped the Israelites conquer Canaan
Ruth: was an outsider (non-Jewish) which would create a stumbling stone to Jews
Bathsheba: committed adultery with David. Her second son Solomon was Jesus ancestor
Mary: unwed mother makes Jesus illegitimate in the eyes of the people around him
2. Jesus birth is a scandalon
Joseph was very close to divorcing Mary for unfaithfulness because they were betrothed (virtually married) and she was found to be pregnant which of course does not happen without another man. "It takes two to tango".
Illustration: the nativity story movie: Mary is found to be pregnant and the devastation that it would cause in those days. This movie gives a very good picture of what it would have been like for Joseph and Mary.
3. Jesus work is a scandalon
The presence of Jesus may result either in faith or in the complete missing of faith. People love talking about God but when you bring up Jesus they suddenly don't want to talk because he makes people wrong "I am the way the truth and the life and no one comes to the father except through me"
Conclusion: I received a fraudulent email the other day of someone saying I won one million euros and that all I needed to do was to give them my bank account numbers and address and other pertinent information and they would transfer the money directly to my account. I am sure you have never received this junk before! Now it would be crazy to pursue this email, but it is altogether sane and right to pursue the crazy Scandalon that is our Lord Jesus because he is anything but a fraud or liar or lunatic but rather He is Lord and God! So this Christmas season do what the shepherds and the wise men did come and worship Jesus! Give your Christmas gifts this year in the name of Jesus and sing Christmas carols that honor Him. two easy ways to worship Jesus on Christmas!
Referenced: Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (one Volume) Gerhard Kittel Gerhard Friedrich pg 1036-1038