Whatever you do don't stumble… To stumble means to trip or momentarily lose one's balance; almost fall. In Greek, it means to trip up.
The context in which Jesus was speaking to His disciples was essentially giving them a heads up on what they can expect as a result of following Him. He tells them in the Gospel Matthew 24 in great detail what to expect in the last days as His second coming approaches.
He let them know in John 15:18 that if the world hated Him, it would hate them too.
Friends, nothing has changed.
What Jesus said to His disciples over 2000 years ago, applies to us in the Body of Christ, i.e. the Church today. Jesus warned His disciples that as they represent Him, as they speak the Truth of God, there will be people who won’t receive it, who will hate them as a result! But He tells them in John 16:1 don’t let any of that trip you up or cause you to stumble.
Ok, so what does that mean for us today in 2020? How is it that we stumble?
We stumble not necessarily because of obstacles in our way, but because we are not paying attention. Let's say I’m walking down the street, and talking on my phone and all of sudden I trip on something in my path. Yes, there’s something in my path, but had I been paying attention as I walk, I would have seen that obstacle and not tripped or stumbled over it.
For us, the obstacle(s) can be the coronavirus, the economy, the political upheaval, etc. As a result, many Christ-followers are stumbling and getting tripped up and caught up. Why? Because they’re not paying attention.
We’re paying more attention to what the news media and social media, are saying, instead of paying close attention to what God is saying in His Word.
Jesus was speaking to His disciples then and He’s speaking to us NOW.
He’s saying to His Bride: these things I’ve spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble.
Look at how John 16:1 reads in The Passion Translation:
“I have told you this so that you would not surrender to confusion or doubt.”
Many in the Church and in our society have surrendered to confusion and fear because of what's happening right now. They’re doubting the TRUTH of what God said and what He promised.
Jesus Has Overcome the World
Jesus told us not to let our hearts be troubled or dismayed. He let us know beforehand that in this WORLD, we would have tribulation, but that in Him we could have peace and be of good cheer because He’s OVERCOME the world! (John 14:1, 16:33)
Friends, let’s not surrender to confusion and fear. Let's not doubt and stumble at what we hear and see on the news. Let us be diligent and careful not to lean to our own understanding, but to lean on God’s Truth in these evil days.
Prayer: Father, help me to trust You and not stumble on what I hear and see in this world. I want to focus on what you have said in Your Word and not lean to my own understanding. I receive Your Peace in this time of tribulation. In Jesus’ name, Amen!