Leviticus 19:
14 “‘Do not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block in front of the blind, but fear your God. I am the Lord.
In other words, don’t say bad things to people who cannot hear you, and do not trip blind people. Don’t you know that God is paying attention to your behavior?

Don’t set people up for a trap. But what about people who set their own traps and fall into them? What can we say about the man painting the floor that paints into a corner and cannot escape?

Paul talked about the offensiveness of the gospel to people whose criteria eliminate them from receiving the message of the Cross.

1 Corinthians 1:
22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

Some missed the point of the cross, because they were trapped into needing unmistakable miracles to validate belief. Others needed a philosophical system that explained every mystery and fit the logic of their minds. The cross is a stumbling block.

Skandalon… the Jews tripped over the cross, while the Greeks painted themselves into a corner that would not allow for higher wisdom than their own. But some, both Jews and Greeks experienced the power of God and wisdom found in Jesus.

Paul’s Gospel had teeth. It bit hard into the kingdom of darkness and ripped chunks from it wherever it came. He didn’t make his message smooth and soft in order to suit the fancies of the religious majority. His Gospel was a sharp word that exalted Christ, lifted the cross up high, proclaimed total commitment to Christ the King, and utterly stripped man of all self-reliance, shattering self-righteousness, tearing down false religion, and leaving men stripped bare before God in utter dependence on His free grace alone to save them. [i]

Jesus daily faced the reality of being offensive to people. Many of the people encountered wanted a leader with more power or a philosophy that would answer every question in a superior way.

There are still people who cannot fathom the gospel because of the criteria by which they measure themselves and the world around them. The gospel trips them up. It seems like a system that will trap them.