What is an offense?
It’s not the same as “you hurt my feelings!”
Skandalizo refers to a “trap, temptation to sin, enticement” (BAGD 753).
An offense is something that seriously entices another person to sin.
How serious are offenses?
Offenders would be better off drowned in the sea (6).
Offenders would be better off maimed or blind (8-9).
Offenses should be confronted (Matt. 18:15-18).
Note that your own life may be a hinderance to helping the offender (Matt. 7:1-5).
Note that offenses are not always obvious to others (Gal. 6:1).
Note that this shouldn’t be necessary, when personal examination is being practiced (1 Cor. 11:31).
What are the steps to confrontation? (15-18)
Go to the offending person by yourself first (15) with the goal of restoration.
Go to the offending person with several witnesses (16) with the goal of restoration.
Go to the assembly of believers (17a) with the goal of restoration.
If he refuses to change, treat him as an unbeliever (17b) with the goal of his salvation.
Should a younger person confront an older person? (1 Tim. 5:1-2)
It still should be done, but only if done respectfully.
Offenses should be forgiven (Matt. 18:21-35).
There should be no limit to our forgiveness (21-22).
The forgiven servant would not forgive as he had been forgiven (23-34).
If we expect God to forgive us, we need to forgive others (Matt. 18:35, Eph. 4:32).
“Disciplining Offenders,” in More Than Spectators, by Paul W. Downey, (Greenville, SC: Ambassador Emerald, 2002), 165-77.
Craig L. Blomberg, Matthew, Vol. 22 of The New American Commentary, edited by David S. Dockery, (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1992), 272-80.