Jesus exposed one of the enemy’s biggest methods of causing God’s people to stumble when He spoke this message to John: “Blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me” (Matthew 11:6). The word for offended in Greek means “entrap, trip up, ensnare.” I believe Jesus was tenderly warning John, “You ask Me if I’m the One you have claimed I am. John, can’t you see what is happening here? Satan isn’t trying to get to Me, he is setting a trap for you through that question.”
Christ had been through the same test Himself during His forty days in the wilderness. And now He was telling John, “The devil is setting you up, trying to ensnare you. But you can’t entertain his lies. He says I’m not who I claim to be but you must not fall into this satanic trap.”
Let me ask you: What do you think is at stake in Jesus’ phrase, “offended in me”? What makes these three words so powerful? It’s that Jesus knew the consequences for John if he gave in to Satan’s lie. He knew what would happen if this godly man began to doubt who he was in Christ.
You see, all Satan had to do was trick John into speaking three words—three words that would quickly undo all the prophecies that had been delivered centuries before. All the good that God had accomplished in and through John would be undone. And the faith of untold multitudes, including generations to come, would be shipwrecked. What were the three words that Satan wanted John to utter? “I have regrets!”
The word “regret” means “distress over unfulfilled expectations.” To regret is to say, “My hopes have not been met.” In short, it is a statement that refutes one’s own faith.
Yet I believe John never got to that point. Instead, he received Jesus’ message to him, the essence of which was: “John, there awaits you a blessing of faith and reassurance if you will resist Satan’s lies. Do not allow unbelief about who I am to take root in you. If you do, you’ll doubt who you are and all that God has done in your life.”