Jesus — the Stumbling Stone

Monday Musings for November 26, 2018

Good morning, Musers,

The nation Israel rejected Jesus many years ago… and they’ve been tripping over him ever since! I’m talking about the nation, though… not individuals. Many individual Jews followed Christ back then (like Andrew, Peter, James and John) … and many do today.

But before we go on, let me say a word in defense of the Jews. Jesus did not meet their messianic expectations. They were looking for a messianic king who would reestablish Israel and free them from Roman rule… and it became obvious that Jesus wasn’t that guy — and here’s some irony. He was that guy… just not then… and just not on their terms. This is why he became a stumbling stone… although he can feel more like a stone in the shoe (sandal) to the lost as they go through the day.

Today, the stumbling stone is not limited to the nation Israel. The whole world trips over Jesus! But that’s because God set things up so that everyone will have to deal with him. He will either be our Savior — the rock of our salvation — or he will be the judge — a stumbling stone. As the latter, he’ll be found along every wrong path. So note this well: no one approaches eternity without either clinging to Christ or stubbing their toe on him.

Here’s the part many people miss: God is not in the business of meeting our expectations. He is in the business of adjusting them… of having us put on the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5-8)… and the Jews refused to do this. Now, I love and honor the Jews for bringing us the law — our schoolmaster (Galatians 3:24). But the student has become greater than the master — a fact, over which, many still stumble.

You see, no one gets to heaven by virtue of being a Jew or by clinging to ancient sacerdotal traditions. The blood of Christ is our agent now (Galatians 3:10-14; Hebrews 10:4). So, why do so many still stumble? They haven’t adjusted their expectations to meet God’s provision for salvation.

We are approaching Christmas, and in that little baby lay all God’s provision for redemption… including the stone of stumbling. It’s a signal to all the lost that they are on the wrong path, and those are the thoughts we’ll explore in our devotional thought today. So join me… and enjoy the musings.

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