Unlimited: Stumbling Over the Stumbling Stone
Apr 4, 2023 367
They stumbled over the stumbling stone. As it is written: “See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall (Romans 9:32b–33a).
Paul is continuing to answer the question of why Israel failed to obtain righteousness. He has just told us in the previous verse that it is because they didn’t pursue it by faith, but by works. Now he is elaborating on this idea, in writing that they “stumbled over the stumbling stone.”
This might seem a strange expression, until we realise that the “stumbling stone” is Jesus. That is what the Lord had said himself,
Anyone who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed (Matt. 21:44.)
The “stumbling stone” is Jesus.
How could Jesus be a “stumbling stone”? Charles Spurgeon wrote,
The same sun which melts wax hardens clay. And the same Gospel which melts some persons to repentance hardens others in their sins.
Likewise, the apostle Peter writes,
“See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone,and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe…
“A stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall” (1 Pet. 2:4–8.)
What makes the difference between whether Christ is a precious cornerstone or a stumbling stone for you is whether you trust in him.
Be honest with yourself. Is Jesus the precious cornerstone in your life or a stumbling stone? Perhaps this truth will be revealed in the midst of a crisis. Will you grow in faith, or doubt and stumble?