Verse of the Day Devotion: Luke 17:1
“And he said to his disciples, temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come!” – Luke 17:1
Jesus is speaking here to the disciples regarding temptation. He is telling them that, because of the depravity of man, there will always be something that tempts us to sin. It may come in the form of an illicit desire, an offense someone does against us, or simply in the calling of our flesh. Such is the flesh that there will always be someone or something that attempts to make us sin. Matthew writes that we must rid ourselves of anything that causes us to sin. “If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.” Matthew 5:29-30. This is a difficult idea, but in essence it is saying that if anything causes us to sin, we must do what we can to remove it from our lives.
Now, this verse specifically addresses people who cause others to sin against God. Therefore, in the process of eliminating all temptations from our lives, we may have to part ways with those who constantly work toward the goal of causing us to fall. If they will not stop in their aberrant ways which causes us to desire things that constitute sinful behavior, whether that be in actions or thoughts, then we need to separate ourselves from them. They are only attempting to counter the work of God in our Christian walk. Satan is using them to cause God’s people to sin where possible. However, based on the next verse, God does not look favorably on this. “But woe to the one through whom they (temptation) come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin.” Luke 17:1b-2. In other words, it would be better to die by drowning then to cause a Christian to sin.
It is important that we examine our lives also, as Christians, praying and asking God is there any way we may be causing our brothers and sisters to fall? Do we wear immodest clothing when we go out? Do we engage in improper conversations that may incite improper thoughts? Or do we do things that are acceptable to us but may not be to some Christians? “Therefore, let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died. So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil.” Romans 14:13-16. If what we do, which we consider good, can cause a brother or sister to fall, then we must abstain from doing it. And if there is any doubt, err on the side of caution and do not do it. God will hold us accountable if we are the cause another Christian stumbling. So, be careful and build up your brothers and sisters in the Lord and take no chance in tempting them to think or do something that they believe is wrong.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.