What comes to mind when you think of the word “scandalous?” Are you still thinking or have you already stopped reading! The term “scandalous” typically refers to something shocking, offensive, or contrary to accepted moral standards or expectations. But who sets the moral standards, expectations, guidelines, and ground rules? Have you established your own or do you just “go with flow?” The life and teaching of the Lord Jesus was “scandalous” because He swam upstream in a downstream world.

I grew up in Minnesota and you can step across the Mississippi river where it starts. Just a little further downstream you can easily swim across it. But if you “go with flow” you will end up in the Gulf of Mexico. You will have a rude awakening if you try to swim across it there because it can widen to 5 miles.

We begin a new series this Sunday entitled “Encountering Grace!” Is there anything shocking to you regarding God’s grace? If not, I hope to shock you because Christ’s “scandalous grace” exceeds human understanding and defies conventional expectations. It extends forgiveness, mercy, and redemption to individuals or groups who may seem undeserving or unworthy by human standards. This scandalous grace challenges our notions of justice and fairness, demonstrating God’s boundless love and willingness to offer salvation to all, regardless of their past actions or perceived righteousness. It scandalizes human sensibilities by lavishly bestowing mercy upon those who least expect it, revealing the incomprehensible depth of God’s grace and the vastness of His love for humanity.

The scandalous aspect of Jesus’ ministry that led to attempts on His life was primarily rooted in His radical teachings, actions, and claims, which challenged the religious authorities and societal norms of His time. Maybe, just maybe the Lord’s eyes move to and fro throughout the whole earth looking for those who “follow in His train.”

Because of the grace of God,