The Israelites had escaped the Egyptians. God’s promise to Moses (“You will worship me on this mountain.”) fulfilled.
And they wandered away.
That the Israelites wandered away probably didn’t surprise Moses all that much. He’d already experienced difficulties at their hands (and mouths). However, apparently, he was surprised—or completely appalled—that Aaron was the apparent facilitator of the people going astray.
“What did these people do to you that you have led them into such a grave sin?”
“…For offenses will inevitably come, but woe to that person by whom the offense comes.”
We have a responsibility to and for each other. This is not to say that we are responsible for others sins per se, but we are responsible when we bring sinful behavior to others in such a way as they feel led (or pressured) to sin.
The Israelites that went astray still were responsible for their actions, but that does not mean that those who brought the sin “in” are not responsible. Jesus makes it quite clear that they are responsible.
1) What are some ways that people could be led into sin despite good motives?
2) Have you ever led someone to sin, whether purposeful or unaware?
3) How does mutual responsibility fit in regards to the one “bringing” the sin, and the one committing the sin?