Jesus spoke to his disciples about offences, within the context of being tempted to sin. His woeful lamentation was in respect of the person who causes the offence or temptation. While we have to resist temptation and offences, the person used by the devil is not obsolete. The devil needs agents and will use people as host to carry out his acts. Open doors of bitterness, resentment and anger creates room to be used by the devil. Similarly, God uses us for his glory and to establish his kingdom. The devil wants to copy everything that God does. Demons cannot act without a human body.
The devil will work through people who he knows can have an effect on us. Oftentimes the devil will work through friends, family members, co-workers and even other Christians. We see this manifested in Jesus’s own disciples. “But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man”” (Matthew 16:23). Unfortunately, Christians are not exempt from being used by the devil. “After saying these things, Jesus was troubled in his spirit, and testified, “Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me”” (John 13:21).
Judas’s betrayal of Jesus caused so much guilt and shame in him, that he took his own life. Peter also went on to deny Jesus, but sought repentance and was restored to the faith. Sins are forgiven through repentance and restoration. Despite God’s forgiveness, some sins leave lasting consequences. God is able to save and restore in the areas, where we experienced losses due to disobedience and sin. We have to guard our hearts and remain in the presence of God, so that we do not become a pawn for the devil. “It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin” (Luke 17:2).
The consequences of causing someone to stumble or sin are major. This is especially for those of us who are believers. The reality is that we should know better and practice what the word says. We are exhorted to do good, especially to other believers. We are also cautioned not to stand in the way of sinners. Do not in your ignorance or arrogance, cause someone else to stumble. “But the one who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, will receive a light beating. Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more” (Luke 12:48).