As I was reading through the Gospel of Matthew this week, I paused in chapter eighteen, meditating upon “stumbling blocks.” That contemplation led me to remember Jesus being both a stumbling block and a cornerstone.
Consider these words from 1 Peter 2:
And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For this is contained in Scripture: “BEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION A CHOICE STONE, A PRECIOUS CORNER stone, AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.” This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve, “THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED, THIS BECAME THE VERY CORNER stone,” and, “A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE”; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed.
Don’t you love how Jesus is described in this passage?! He is a living stone. He is choice and precious in the sight of God. He is the cornerstone. And, He is a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense. You have seen these realities in action. Individuals either love Christ or they don’t. He is either precious to them or He is not. We really are not allowed to remain ambivalent regarding the identity and works of Jesus Christ. There will come time when we will be required to declare our allegiance. Either our knee will bow willingly or it will do so in forced submission (Phil. 2:10).
Did you notice the promise given in this passage to those to willingly bow their knee to Christ? The Apostle Peter tells us that they will not be disappointed. My friends, I can attest that I am living proof of this. I have known Jesus for over twenty years. I can truly declare to you that He has not disappointed! I have found Him to be “a precious cornerstone.” In fact, I have found Him to be my Jenga block.
Have you ever played Jenga? It is a game in which you stack blocks into a tower and then slowly pull those blocks out. The individual who pulls out a block which causes the entire tower to collapse is eliminated. For me–Jesus is that block, the one, if removed, would result in everything falling apart. I guess what I am saying is that Jesus is precious to me because of who He is and what He has done, is doing and will do–for the Father’s glory and for me. He is an active participant in my life. Coming to know Him as Lord and Savior in 1984 was just the start of what would turn out to be a two-decade-developing relationship. And–rather than disappointing me, Jesus has proven Himself faithful and true (Rev. 19:11). Many of you can relate to my admission. Continue valuing Him! Honor Him as living stones. Some of you cannot relate. Believe in Him! Get to know Him. Grow in your knowledge of Him. If you do, you will find Him to be “a choice stone, a precious cornerstone.” You won’t be disappointed, and you will rejoice to come to the realization that Jesus is your Jenga block as well.