Woe to the world because of offenses! for it must needs be that offenses come; but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!
I. LET US INQUIRE WHY IT MUST NEEDS BE THAT OFFENCES COME.
1. Not from any fault in the gospel of the Redeemer.
2. Not that God necessitates men to lay before others these hindrances in the path to heaven, and encouragements to sin.
3. Why then? "Light has come into the world, and men love darkness," etc. He does not interpose by omnipotent force.
II. LET US EXAMINE WHAT ARE THE CHIEF OFFENCES AGAINST WHICH WE SHOULD GUARD?
1. False sentiments in religion, and doctrines inconsistent with the Word of God often prove an offence and tend to lead others away from felicity.
2. The influence of unholy examples.
4. The unsuitable walk of professing Christians.
III. ILLUSTRATE THE PROPRIETY OF THE DOUBLE WOE PRONOUNCED BY OUR LORD.
1. Woe to the world because of offences, for many will be seduced by them.
2. Woe to that man by whom the offence cometh.
(1) Because he frustrates as far as in his power the design which Christ had in coming into the world.
(2) Because he renders himself guilty of all the crimes he has led others to commit.
(3) Because the reparation of those evils is morally impossible.
(H. Kollock, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!