To you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, “The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,” and, “A stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.” 1 Peter 2:7-8 (NIV)
Imagine a building site with various stones cut to different shapes and sizes lying around. The foreman starts sorting them out. “Yes, we can use this one. Oh, that’s a nice piece! This one’s useless…” So he rolls it down the hill and it stops in a driveway.
Ten minutes later, a kid delivering newspapers rides by on his bike. His front wheel slams into the rock and he flies over the handlebars. The builders come by to check on him: “Get that stupid rock out of here. It’s nothing but trouble.” So they throw it in the dumpster.
Later the mason arrives to lay the stone on the arch at the entrance to the house. “Where’s my stone?” says the mason. “There are all kinds of stones here,” say the builders. “No, I mean the stone. I had it specially shaped and sent here. Where is it?”
“It’s in the dumpster. We couldn’t see any use for it.” So the mason goes to the dumpster and says, “This is the stone.” The builders are looking at the ground, feeling like fools. Meanwhile, the mason places the stone over the entrance to the house where everyone will see and admire it.
The people God had commissioned to build his house rejected Jesus. Many people stumble over him. He is “a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall” (2:8). Jesus does not fit what many people are looking for, so they stumble over his claims and his call.
Where have you seen this kind of rejection or stumbling?