A Stone of Stumbling

1Peter 2:7-10 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. 

‘Stone of stumbling …’ this is the 3rd Old Testament prophecy in 1 Peter (1:8; Isa. 8:14). The reasons why the Jews stumbled at Christ: Because He did not come as a worldly prince to deliver them from the Romans (John 11:48; Acts1:7). Because He was a poor man having no appeal to worldly people (2Cor. 8:9; John 15:19-23; 17:14-16).

Then we have the reasons why the Jews killed Jesus: His kingship (Matt. 2:2-3, 16; John 18:33-40; 19:12-22); for telling the truth (Luke 4:21-29; John 8:40); for healing on the sabbath (Matt. 12:9-14; Mark 3:1-6; John 5:16; 9:16); out of jealousy (Matt. 26:3-4; 27:18; Mark 14:1; 15:10; Luke 22:2; John 11:48); because of their ignorance (Matt. 26:64-66; Mark 14:62-64; John 12:40; Acts 3:17); to fulfil prophecy (Luke 13:33-35; John 12:38-40; 18:31-32; 19:11, 28, 36-37; Acts 2:22-36; 3:18); because He claimed Sonship (John 5:18; 10:24-39; 19:7); because of their unbelief (John 5:38-47; 6:36; 9:40-41; 12:36-38); He claimed to be God (John 8:53-59; 10:33; cp. John 1:1-2; Heb. 1:5-14); for fear of losing their authority (John 11:46-53; 12:10-11, 19).

‘Being disobedient’ this is what made them stumble. Anyone who obeys God will not stumble at Christ. ‘Also they were appointed’ this simply means that people are appointed to stumble if they are determined to be disobedient. God did not choose them to stumble or be disobedient. This was their choice (Matt. 13:15).

Ten symbols of the Messiah are given: A foundation stone (Isa. 28:16; Eph. 2:20); a tried stone (Matt. 21:42-44; Acts 4:11); a precious corner stone (2:4-8); a sure foundation (1Cor. 3:11); a smitten rock (Ps. 78:16; Num. 20:8-11; 1Cor. 10:4); head stone of the corner (Ps. 118:22); rejected stone (Ps. 118:22; Acts 4:11); stumbling stone (Isa. 8:14; Rom. 9:32-33); a living stone (2:4); a rock (stone) of offense (2:8; Isa.8:14).

‘But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, and holy nation, a peculiar people’ Four things about Jewish Christians: A chosen generation (cp. Deut. 7:6); a royal priesthood (cp. Ex. 19:6); an holy nation (cp. Ex. 19:6); a peculiar people, the Greek word peripoiesis meaning purchased, not peculiar as in dress, speech, or manner of life (cp. Deut. 7:6)

‘Praises’ [Greek: arête] only translated praise here, but virtue in Philippians 4:8 and 2Peter 1:3, 5. The word refers to virtuous thoughts, feelings or actions. The virtues Christians are to show before men are the perfections of wisdom, knowledge, justice, truth, love, patience, holiness, goodness, grace, joy, peace, faith, and other attributes and powers of the Divine Trinity. These virtues are to be demonstrated by Christians to angels and men (1:12; 1Cor. 4:9; Eph. 3:9-10) ‘Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy’ this is the 4th Old Testament prophecy in 1Peter (2:10; Hos. 1:9-10; 2:23) describing the mercy the Jews have obtained through Christ.

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