The Stone of Stumbling
Matthew 21:42
Jesus said to them, Did you never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected…

The two clauses of the text figuratively point to two different classes of operation — in the one case the stone is represented as passive, lying quiet; in the other, it has got motion. In the one case, it is a self-inflicted, remedial injury; in the other, it is total and judicial.

I. EVERY MAN HAS SOME KIND OF CONNECTION WITH CHRIST. The gospel must influence every man somehow; it is an element in our present civilization. Christ does something to every one of us. He is either the rock on which I build or a stone of stumbling.

II. THE IMMEDIATE ISSUE OF REJECTION OF HIM IS LOSS AND MAIMING — "Whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken." The positive harm. No man ever yet passively rejected Christ; there is always a slight struggle with right before living away. So that every man who rejects Christ wounds his own conscience, hardens his own heart, makes himself a worse man. By the natural result of his unbelief his nature " shall be broken." I need not dwell on the negative evil results of unbelief; we fail to possess the great Jove of God by which only we are made what we ought to be. Not only by the act of rejection of Christ do we maim ourselves, but also all attempts of opposition to the gospel as a system stand self-convicted — "Whosoever falls on this stone shall be broken."

III. THE ULTIMATE ISSUE OF UNBELIEF IS IRREMEDIABLE DESTRUCTION WHEN CHRIST BEGINS TO MOVE. The former clause has spoken about the passive operation of unbelief whilst the gospel is being preached; this about the active agency of Christ, "It shall grind him to powder."

(A. McLaren, D. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?

WEB: Jesus said to them, "Did you never read in the Scriptures, 'The stone which the builders rejected, the same was made the head of the corner. This was from the Lord. It is marvelous in our eyes?'

The History of the Cornerstone
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