Sunday, December 22, 2013

Jesus: rock of offense

brick wall resting on the cornerstone of the cross
TODAY'S SPECIAL: Isaiah 8:5-18

TO CHEW ON: "The Lord of hosts, Him you shall hallow;
Let Him be your fear
And let Him be your dread.
He will be as a sanctuary,
But a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense
To both the houses of Israel…" Isaiah 8:13,14

Here Isaiah's prophecy of near events morphs into a prediction of the Messiah's coming. We see the "stone of stumbling and a rock of offense" images and immediately our thoughts flit to the words of Jesus and New Testament writers:

"Have you not even read this Scripture: ‘The stone which the builders rejected
 has become the chief cornerstone.'" - Mark 12:10.

"…they (Israel) stumbled at the stumbling stone. As it is written: 'Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense, and whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame"  Romans 9:32,33.

"But we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness but to those who are called … the power of God and the wisdom of God" - 1 Corinthians 1:23,24.

"Therefore to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, 'The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone and a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense" - 1 Peter 2:7,8.

Jesus is no less an offense to our culture than He was to the Jewish culture of His time. They couldn't conceive of their neighbor boy being Messiah, and the mainstream wisdom of our time and place is that His claims of being the one and only way to God are outrageous. Still hidden in the beautiful and seemingly harmless celebration of His birth is the time-bomb of a question: "What will we do with Jesus?"

Will He be the precious object of our belief?

Or will He stumble us so that we suffer the fate of Jesus' own words:
"Have you never read the Scriptures? 'The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. …' And whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder" - Matthew 21:42,44.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus may the world, including my unbelieving family and friends, see and believe in You for who You are before it is too late. Amen.


New King James Version (NKJV) Used with permission. The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

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