Re: "Church Life"? Ready for the REAL Thing??!!
Saturday Afternoon, May 18, 2002
Question: Hi, A few of us were talking earlier, and I believe we know what the word “skandalon” means, but would you define it for us anyway? Thanks : ) Love, Anna
“Skandalon” (Mat. 13:41, 16:23, 18:7; Lk. 17:1; Rom. 9:33, 11:9, 14:13, 16:17; 1Cor. 1:23; Gal. 5:11; 1Pet. 2:8; 1Jn. 2:10; Rev. 2:14, etc.)
“Skandalizo” (Mat. 5:29-30, 11:6, 13:21,57, 15:12, 17:27, 18:6,8-9, 24:10, 26:31,33; Mk. 4:17, 6:3, 9:42-43,45,47, 14:27,29; Lk. 7:23, 17:2; Jn. 6:61, 16:1; Rom. 14:21; 1Cor. 8:13; 2Cor. 11:29, etc.)
4625. Skandalon; the trigger in the trap on which the bait is placed and that springs the trap when it is touched by the animal, causing the trap to close. The word and its deriv belong only to biblical and ecclesiastical Gr. Its counterpart in the Sept. is the word pagis (3803), trap. However, pagis simply implies a reference simply to the injury lurking or hidden in the ambush and not so much to the suffering; whereas, skandalon involves the conduct of the person who is thus injured. Skandalon always denotes the enticement or occasion leading to conduct which brings with it the ruin of the person in question. In the NT the concept of skandalon is used both positively and negatively, and is concerned mainly with the fact that it incites certain behavior which leads to ruin and rarely denotes merely a hidden, unexpected cause of ruin (Rom. 9:33; 1Pet 2 8). In most cases, however, the skandalon is something which gives occasion to conduct leading to ruin; the course of sin leading to ruin or to a fall (Rom. 14:13, 1Cor. 1:23; Gal. 5:11, Rev. 2:14). Ta skandala are things which lead others to turn away from God’s salvation and thus to come to ruin (Mat. 18:7. Lk. 17:1).
4624. Skandalizo; to commit that which leads to the fall or ruin of someone. Without reference to the element of deceit, it means to throw someone unawares into ruin; to give occasion for ungodly conduct resulting in the mischief incurred thereby (Mat. 5:29; 18:8,9; Mk. 9:43, 45, 47; 1Cor. 8:13, cf. Mat. 17:27; Jn. 16 1; 1Cor. 8:13); to craftily entice or lead to ruin, allowing someone to adopt a course in which he will unknowingly come to mischief and ruin (Mat. 18:6; Mk. 9 42, 43. Lk. 17:2) in the pass, to fall into ruin unawares, to be offended or to be caught or affected by a skandalon, (4625), trap, or to regard something as a skandalon.
1. skandalon (4625) originally was “the name of the part of a trap to which the bait is attached, hence, the trap or snare itself, as in Rom. 11:9, RV, “stumblingblock,” quoted from Ps. 69:22, and in Rev. 2:14, for Balaam’s device was rather a trap for Israel than a stumblingblock to them, and in Mat. 16:23, for in Peter’s words the Lord perceived a snare laid for Him by Satan.
“In NT, skandalon is always used metaphorically, and ordinarily of anything that arouses prejudice, or becomes a hindrance to others, or causes them to fall by the way. Sometimes the hindrance is in itself good, and those stumbled by it are the wicked.” Thus it is used (a) of Christ in Rom. 9:33, “(a rock) of offense”; so 1Pet. 2:8; 1Cor. 1:23 (KJV and RV, “stumblingblock”), and of His cross, Gal. 5:11 (RV, ditto); of the “table” provided by God for Israel, Rom. 11:9 (see above); (h) of that which is evil, e.g., Mat. 13:41, RV, “things that cause stumbling” (KJV “things that offend”), lit., “all stumblingblocks”; 18:7, RV, “occasions of stumbling” and “occasion”; Lk.17:1 (ditto); Rom.14:13, RV, “an occasion of falling” (KJV “an occasion to fall”), said of such causing a hindrance to another; 16:17, RV, “occasions of stumbling,” said of the teaching of things contrary to sound doctrine; 1Jn. 2:10, “occasion of stumbling,” of the absence of this in the case of one who loves his brother and thereby abides in the light. Love, then, is the best safeguard against the woes pronounced by the Lord upon those who cause others to stumble. Sept. Hos. 4:17, “Ephraim partaking with idols hath laid stumblingblocks in his own path.”
skandalizo (4624), from skandalon (OFFENSE), signifies “to put a snare or stumblingblock in the way,” always metaphorically in the NT, in the same ways as the noun, which see. It is used 14 times in Matthew, 8 in Mark, twice in Luke, twice in John; elsewhere in 1Cor. 8:13 (twice) and 2Cor. 11:29. The RV renders it by the Verb “to stumble,” or “cause to stumble,” in every place save the following, where it uses the Verb “to offend,” Mat. 13:57; 15:12; 26:31, 33; Mk. 6:3; 14:27, 29.
Notes. (1) In Jas. 2:10; 3:2 (twice), KJV ptaio, “to stumble,” is translated “offend;” see FALL, STUMBLE.
So! Here’s the deal. Count on Jesus “scandalizing” you and testing you! Count on Him taking you to your limits of strength and skill and willpower, and finding the areas where, like the “rich young ruler” and our father Abraham… “This one thing you lack. Kill it!” JESUS sets a “trap” for us to “find out what is in our hearts.” HE is “the Stone that makes us stumble, and Rock that makes us fall.” Jesus is the StumblingStone upon which the Church is built, as the Chief Cornerstone. As Simeon said to even Mary (“blessed amongst women”): “This child is destined to cause the falling and the rising again of many… He will be a Sign spoken against…the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed, and a sword will pierce your own soul, too!”
The very nature of Salvation is that we would be “cut to the heart” (Acts 2:37) causing the humble, like Bartimaeus, to cry out “Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Mk. 10:47-48). As Jesus Himself said of the Salvation that He alone could bring, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.” If we are poised and mostly comfortable, rather than wrecked by our need for Messiah, and wrecked by the Call to abandon ourselves (also known as “Faith”), we cannot draw near to the Great Physician, Jesus of Nazareth.
He offends us; He skandalizes us in order to know what’s in our hearts. He won’t be “used” as a “genie in a bottle.” He is the KING of GLORY! At the Name of Jesus, “every knee buckles and collapses.” He takes us to the brink, presses all the right buttons, and exposes us for who we are—that we might finally see who HE is—and decide. He is the stumblingstone, the offense. Jesus is not how Hollywood has portrayed Him. He’s not a cute bearded Anglo, humming sweet songs as he strolls nonchalantly down the cobblestone streets of life, tossing flowers and candy to those along the way. He is a Mighty Warrior, God Incarnate, YAHWEH! He’s Coming for those who are “sick” that He might be their Healer. It’s not the well, but the sick that He bends for. He wants to “lay bare the motives of our hearts”—as He is “the Stone that makes men stumble, the Rock that makes men fall.” “Petra-Skandalon”: the rock of offense, “causing the (necessary exposing and) falling—and the (glorious) rising again of many!” This is your God. Bow at His Name!
We must. I must.
Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures:
“‘The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes!’ ?
“Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. He who falls on this Stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed” (Matthew 21:42-44).