the stumbling stone

January 2015 (4)

Romans 9:25-33

25 As he also says in Hosea: “I will call those who were not my people, ‘My people,’ and I will call her who was unloved, ‘My beloved.'”[1] 26 “And in the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ there they will be called ‘sons of the living God.'”[2] 27 And Isaiah cries out on behalf of Israel, “Though the number of the children of Israel are as the sand of the sea, only the remnant will be saved,[3] 28 because the Lord will execute his sentence on the earth completely and quickly.” 29 Just as Isaiah predicted, “If the Lord of armies had not left us descendants, we would have become like Sodom, and we would have resembled Gomorrah.” 30 What shall we say then?–that the Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness got it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith, 31 but Israel even though pursuing a law of righteousness did not get it. 32 Why not? Because they pursued it not by having faith but (as if it were possible) by doing works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone, 33 just as it is written, “See, I am laying in Zion a stone that will cause people to stumble and a rock that will make them fall, yet the one who puts faith in him will not be put to shame.”[4]

the stumbling stone

Paul uses several proof texts to show that the temporary rejection of Christ by unbelieving Israel is God’s idea. He purposefully laid a stone in Zion that would be rejected, but which would eventually be discovered to be perfect for the foundation itself.

Many Jews today are rediscovering the Messiah that their ancestors had rejected. I know some of them. They express with joy the reality of Christ that they have found. They have put their faith in Christ, and will not be put to shame.

LORD, thank you for the Messiah, the stumbling stone, perfect as the foundation of your eternity.


[1] Hosea 2:23.

[2] Hosea 1:9.

[3] Isaiah 10:20.

[4] Psalm 118:22.

About Jefferson Vann

Jefferson Vann is a former Christian missionary and a candidate for pastoral ministry. You can contact him at marmsky@gmail.com -- !
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