The Deeds of Your Father

John 8:41-47 You do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God. Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, you would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do you not understand my speech? even because you cannot hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, you believe me not. Which of you convince me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do you not believe me? He that is of God hears God’s words: you therefore hear them not, because you are not of God. 

‘You do the deeds of your father’ the fact that one does the deeds of the devil proves that one is of the devil (1Jn. 3:8). Since they had sought to kill Jesus, He accused them of being the offspring of satan who was a murderer from the beginning (John 8:41-44).

The Jews answered Him that they were not born of fornication. They said that they were not idolaters, but that God was their Father. Idolatry refers to spiritual fornication or a violation of the spiritual and covenant marriage between God and Israel (Jdg. 2:17; Isa. 1:21; Hos. 1:2; 4:12; 2Ch. 21:11; Eze. 16:1-63).

Jesus told them that if God were their Father they would have loved Him. They would not persecute Him if they were of the same Father that He was.

They couldn’t understand Jesus because they cannot hear His Word; it exposed their hypocrisy and condemned their sins, so they were determined not to hear just as others today who refuse to change from a sinful life.

Jesus explained that they were of their father the devil whose lusts they will do (Greek word for lust is epithumia) which means desires, craves and longing for. Satanic lusts are like those of men but much stronger because of being agitated by spirit forces. Fallen angels and men are capable of misusing their creative faculties in deeper and deeper degrees of sin and rebellion as time goes by.

‘He was a murderer from the beginning’ this refers to the death of the whole human race by sin (Gen. 2:17; Rom. 5:12-21; Heb.2:14). Death comes through satan and he kills those who fell away from God’s protection because of their sin.

Satan walked in truth for a time until he decided to rebel against God and this was before he ‘abode not’ or rebelled against truth (Eze. 28:11-17; Isa. 14:12-14). This was before Adam’s day for he was already a fallen creature when he came into Adam’s Eden (Gen. 3:1-24). The rebellion caused the flood of Lucifer (Gen. 1:2; Jer. 4:23-26; 2Pet. 3:5-8). He chose to reject all truth in his period of probation as the Jews were doing here (vv. 39-47). When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own falsehood, for he is a liar and the father of lies and liars. When we believe lies, we reject the Truth (Word = Jesus) and make satan our father.

Jesus asked the Jews that if they couldn’t convict Him of sin, error, or falsehood, why did they not believed what He said? The fact that they didn’t hear God’s Word proved they were not of God.

No Place In You

John 8:37-40 I know that you are Abraham’s seed; but you seek to kill me, because my word has no place in you. I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and you do that which you have seen with your father.  They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus said unto them, If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham. But now you seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham. 

‘Abraham is our father’ True, according to the flesh, but this does not make true children of Abraham or true Israelites. One must not only be a descendant in the flesh but must also be saved and a child of the promise to be a true Jew and an Israelite (Rom. 2:28-29; 9:4-11). If they (the Jews) were really the spiritual seed of Abraham they would imitate him in faith, obedience, and righteousness; but they seek to kill Jesus merely because He told them the truth; Abraham never did anything like this.

The only place Jesus calls Himself a “man” (v 40) He generally refers to Himself as the ‘Son of God’ and ‘Son of Man’ (John 1:49, 51). He was truly man and truly God in nature, being born of God and a virgin (Matt. 1:18).

There were ten 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); for claiming Sonship (John 5:18; 10:24-39; 19:7); and for claiming to be God (John 8:53-59; 10:33); they were jealous of Him (Matt. 26:3-4; 27:18; Mark 14:1; 15:10; Luke 22:2; John 11:48); they were ignorant (Matt. 26:64-66; Mark 14:62-64; John 12:40; Acts 3:17); for fear of losing their authority (John 11:46-53; 12:10-11, 19); for their unbelief (John 5:38-47; 6:36; 9:40-41; 12:36-38); they killed Him to fulfill prophecy (Luke 13:33-35; John 12:38-40; 18:31-32; 19:11, 28, 36-37; Acts 2:22-36; 3:18).

Lifted Up

John 8:26-30 I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him. They understood not that he spoke to them of the Father. Then said Jesus unto them, When you have lifted up the Son of man, then shall you know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father has taught me, I speak these things. And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him. As he spoke these words, many believed on him. 

While continuing the discourse with the Jews, Jesus said that He had many things to say and to judge them of: but that the Father that sent Him is true; and He spoke to them those things which He has heard of the Father. (John 8:14, 16, 18, 26). The Jews didn’t understand that He spoke to them of the Father.

Jesus explained to them that when they have lifted up (crucified, John 3:14; 12:34) the Son of Man, then by His resurrection and ascension shall they know that He is the light of the world, the Son of God.

He did nothing of Himself; but as His Father taught Him; we learn from Christ’s Union with the Father the following: The Son can do nothing of Himself (John 5:17, 19, 30; 8:18, 28); Christ did not seek His own will, but the will of the Father (John 5:30; 6:38); He didn’t seek His own glory (John 8:50, 54); His doctrine was not His, but the Father that sent Him (John 7:16; 8:26, 38); Christ always did those things that please the Father (John 8:29); He came from God, not of Himself (John 8:42; 16:28); He did not speak of Himself, but the Father commanded Him what to speak (John 10:25, 37-38; 14:10-11).

Come Unto Me

John 6:41-46 The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven. And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven? Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves. No man can come to me, except the Father which has sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, come unto me. Not that any man has seen the Father, save he which is of God, he has seen the Father. 

As a last resort for their unbelief, the Jews always fell back on the excuse of ‘Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from Heaven?’ The same excuse so many uses today to deny that Jesus is God as the second person of the Trinity and not just a mere prophet.

The way the Father draws men to Him is always through the Word which is Jesus as clearly explained in John 1:1, 14 and in John 14:6 it is stated that  Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life and no man can come to the Father, except through Jesus (the Word). No man is able to come to God except by God’s Word through the Holy Spirit and his own conscience, both of which are God-given (John 16:7-11; Rom. 2:12-16).

The Word must be heard for faith to grow (Rom. 10:11-17; 2Cor. 1:17-24) and the Holy Spirit to convict of sin (John 16:7-11). Man’s conscience then condemns or sanctions his own action as right or wrong according to the light received (Rom. 2:12-16; 2Cor. 2:15-17; 1Jn. 1:7). God draws or allures but never drags or uses force.

‘It is written in the prophets’ – the Old Testament was known as the Prophets, (or the Law and the Prophets) because it was the period that the Father spoke to the world through prophets (Heb. 1:1; Lk. 16:16) for there were no Bibles yet, only book scrolls of the Old Testament.  ‘And they shall be all taught of God’ through the prophets that wrote the books of the Old Testament man was told about God.

‘He has seen the Father’ For those – in the days of the apostles – who have seen Jesus (His example) they have also seen the Father (John 14:7).

Believe on Him

John 6:36-40 But I said unto you, That you also have seen me, and believe not. All that the Father give me shall come to me; and him that come to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which see the Son, and believe on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. 

‘That you also have seen me, and believe not’ Jesus explains to the Jews that God, and not Moses, gave the bread to the Israelites, but the Jews have seen Him multiply bread and do all kinds of signs and they still refuse to believe (trust) in Him. They only followed Jesus from sensual motives (John 6:26-27).

The thirteenth New Testament prophecy is constantly being fulfilled in ‘All that the Father gives me shall come to me, and him that comes to me I will in no wise cast out’ When one ‘comes to’ it means to come in faith, repenting and turning to Christ with a whole heart, giving up sin, and consecrating himself forever to God and His Word and His will (Rom. 10:9-10; 2Cor. 7:10; 1Jn. 1:9; Acts 2:38-39; 3:19).

The fourteenth New Testament prophecy – ‘And this is the Father’s will… that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day….that every one which sees the Son, and believes on Him, may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day’ – is being fulfilled and will be completely fulfilled in the resurrection (1Thess. 4:16-17; 1Cor. 15:23, 51-58).

The ‘last day’ is used six times of which five times refers to the last day of redemption of the righteous when their bodies will be fully redeemed (John 6:39-40, 44, 54; 11:24), and of the last day when the wicked will be resurrected and judged (John 12:48; Rev. 20:11-15).

Witnesses to Jesus

John 5:30-38 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me. If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true. There is another that bears witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witness of me is true. You sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth. But I receive not testimony from man: but these things I say, that you might be saved. He was a burning and a shining light: and you were willing for a season to rejoice in his light. But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me. And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. You have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. And you have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent him you believe not. 

The Son can do nothing of Himself (John 5:17,19, 30; 8:18, 28); He seeks not His own will, but the will of the Father (John 6:38); His doctrine is not His, but the Father’s who sent Him (John 7:16; 8:26,38).John 5:31

‘If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.’ For a witness to be legally true and acceptable there must be two or three witnesses (Deut. 17:6).

‘Another that bear witness of me’ this refers to the Father (John 7:28; 8:26; Mat. 3:17; 17:5). He did not here refer to John the Baptist who also witnessed of Him (John 5:33-35), but to the Father and the works which are greater witnesses than John (John 5:36-38).

John the Baptist ‘was a burning and a shining light’ which was a common rabbinic idiom for a famous man; the Jews rejoiced in him for a season, thus did they believed John to be a prophet. A prophet cannot lie, so why didn’t they believe what John said of Christ (John 1:29)?

‘You have neither heard His voice at any time nor seen His shape.’ – You Jews here today have never heard the Father’s voice as did Israel at Sinai (Deut. 5:22-33 and others in Mat. 3:17; 17:5); nor have you seen His shape as men in other ages have seen His physical form (Gen. 18:1-8; 32:24-30; Exo. 24:9-11; Jos. 5:13-15; Jdg. 6:11-23; 13:3-23; etc). This proves that God has both a voice and a bodily shape.

Resurrection of Life

John 5:28-29 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. 

The ninth New Testament prophecy in John: ‘The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live’ are fulfilled and continuously being fulfilled as men turn to God for salvation. They that hear shall live (Acts 3:19; Rom. 10:9-17). ‘So hath He given to the Son to have life in himself’ – As God, this could not be true, but as the Son of man all life-giving powers and all authority to redeem and judge were given by the Father through the Holy Spirit (Isa. 11:2; 42:1; 61:1; Acts10:38; Mat. 12:28).

The tenth New Testament prophecy in John is unfulfilled ‘for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.’ Jesus is saying that we must not marvel at His power to resurrect souls from death in sin (John 5:25; Eph. 2:1-9) and that He will also resurrect dead bodies from the grave (John 5:28-29; 1Cor. 15:20-23; Rev. 20:4-15).

Only the bodies die at physical death (Jas. 2:26) and only the bodies go into the graves to await physical resurrection (John 5:28-29). All scriptures on the future resurrection of the dead refer to the bodies that sleep in the graves, not to the souls and spirits which are immortal and do not sleep in the graves. The righteous are in a conscious state in heaven (2Cor. 5:8; Eph. 4:8-10; Php. 1:21-24; Heb. 12:22-23; Rev. 6:9-11) and the wicked are conscious in hell (Luke 16:19-21; Isa. 14:9; Rev. 20:11-15). The souls and spirits of all men will be brought back from heaven or hell to the place where the bodies were buried and God will then resurrect them so that they will hear the voice of the Son of God and come forth to live forever in heaven or hell (Dan. 12:2; 1Thes. 4:13-18). The bodies cannot come forth out of the graves lifeless and dead, so when the souls and spirits reunite with the bodies in the resurrection they will come forth like Christ did when His soul and spirit came back from hell to the body in the tomb and He came out of the grave (Psa. 16:10; Mat. 12:40; 28:1-6; Eph. 4:8-10).

The righteous that ‘have done good’ (Greek: poieo, from which we get the word poem) refers not so much to individual acts of goodness as to character, nature, and conduct. The righteous that are ‘blessed and holy’ (Rev. 20:4-6); that ‘are Christ’s’ (1Cor. 15:23, 51-58; Gal. 5:24); that are ‘worthy’ (Luke 21:36); that are ‘in Christ’ (1Thes. 4:16-17; 2Cor. 5:17); that are in ‘the way, the truth, and the life’ (John 14:1-6); that have purified themselves ‘even as He is pure’ (1Jn. 3:2-3); that are without spot or wrinkle and without blemish and are the body of Christ (Eph. 1:22-23; 5:27; 1Cor. 12:13; Col. 1:18, 24) – these will be resurrected to eternal life 1,000 years before the wicked (John 5:29; Dan. 12:2). The wicked will be resurrected to eternal punishment and damnation 1,000 years after the resurrection of the righteous (Dan. 12:2; Rev. 14:9-11; 20:4-6, 11-15; 21:8; 22:15).

The Authority of the Son

John 5:19-27 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what He see the Father do: for what things so ever He does, these also does the Son likewise. For the Father love the Son, and showed him all things that himself doeth: and he will show him greater works than these, that you may marvel. For as the Father raise up the dead, and quicken them; even so the Son quicken whom he will. For the Father judge no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honour not the Son honour not the Father which hath sent him. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that hear my word, and believe on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.

The Son does the same works as the Father in perfect union with Him and His will. No person of the Trinity acts independently of the others. During His ‘self-emptying’ life He was an agent of the Father, who worked through Him by the Holy Spirit (Isa. 11:2; 61:1; Acts 10:38).

The Son was limited in knowledge and wisdom and power during the days of His flesh (Isa. 50:4; Luke 2:40, 52; Mat. 11:25-27; 24:36; Acts1:6-8). The eight New Testament prophecy in John ‘and he will show him greater works than these, that you may marvel’ was fulfilled in the increased works of Christ.

‘So the Son quicken whom He will.’ Jesus had unlimited and absolute authority from God by the fullness of the Spirit (John 3:34) to act as He willed in resurrecting men (John 5:28-29; 6:39; 11:25). The Father will judge the world by Jesus Christ (Acts 17:31; 12:1-25:48).

‘Even as they honour the Father’ This absolute equality with the Father in honour proves His deity and membership in the Trinity (1Jn. 5:7).

He that obeys God’s Word and believe (trust without doubt) in the Father, have everlasting (eternal) life and will not come to judgment before God, but as for all men the law of sowing and reaping is always in effect (Gal. 6:7-8) and anyone can still fall away from grace when they sin wilfully (Heb. 6:4-6; 10:26-31).

To pass from death unto life happens when 2 Corinthians 5:17 come to pass: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” See also 1 John 3:14 and Galatians 5:24.

What Is in Man

John 2:23-25 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man. 

The purpose of miracles has always been that we must believe in His name – the name above all names – Jesus (Php. 2:9). Jesus prayed in John 11:42 to the Father: “I knew that thou hear me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.”

Jesus didn’t trust men, for He knew they were not genuine in faith and character. Here is an example of the gifts of knowledge and discerning of spirits (1Cor. 12:4-11). In Jeremiah 17:9 we read that the heart (of all men) is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? God answers in verse 10 that He searches the heart, He tries the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.

The Parable of the Householder

Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country:  And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it.  And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another.  Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise.  But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son.  But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance.  And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him.  When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen?  They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons.  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?  Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.nAnd when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them. But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet. Mat 21:33-46 KJV

The householder illustrates God the Father, who sent His Son into the world to redeem mankind. Mt. 21:37; Jn. 3:16; 15:1  The vineyard illustrates the kingdom of Heaven part of the kingdom of God, which was intrusted to the Jews, planted by God with the rich and fruitful vines of the knowledge of God, His commandments, the institutions of religion, and His revealed Word. Mt. 21:43; Mk. 12:1-9; Lk. 20:9-19; Rom. 3:1-2; 9:1-5 The hedge illustrates God’s watchful care and provision for the protection of the kingdom, so that it would be free from the intrusion of wild beasts which would spoil the vines and destroy the fruit. The winepress illustrates all the institutions and means of blessing for the human race. Winepresses were hewn out of solid rock. They usually consisted of two or three vats, each a little higher than the other, with troughs from one to the other. The grapes were put in the top vat, which was always the biggest, and two or more persons with naked feet and legs would jump up and down, crushing the grapes. The juice flowed into the next vat and from it would be drawn off into the next, or into vessels, leaving the dregs in the vats. The tower illustrates the place of dwelling where the workers of the vineyard could find rest and recreation and a place to store the fruit. These towers in literal vineyards were sometimes forty to fifty feet high, affording a place for the watchman to see the vineyard and protect it.

The husbandmen illustrate Israel who had charge of the vineyard to render unto the householder the fruit in due season. Mt. 21:45-46 There were two kinds of leases that could be had in the East. The tenant paid a money rent to the proprietor, or else he agreed to give the owner a definite amount of the produce, whether the harvest had been good or bad. Such leases were given by the year or for life; sometimes the lease was even hereditary, passing from father to son. The latter kind of lease is no doubt referred to in this parable.

The householder going away illustrates the long period that God permitted the nation to be ruled under the guidance of kings and prophets through the law. Acts 13:17-43  The time of the fruit illustrates the seasons that God expected results from the Jews in extending the kingdom among other nations and doing those things required to bring the knowledge of God to others.

The servants illustrate the Old Testament prophets, priests, and teachers whom God sent to get the Jews to render to Him the fruit of the kingdom. Mt. 23:37-39; Heb. 11:32-40  The son of the householder illustrates the Son of God, who was sent to the lost sheep of Israel. Mt. 10:6; 23:37-39; Jn. 1:11; 3:16; Acts 2:22-36  The maltreatment of the servants and the son illustrates the bitter hatreds and backslidings of Israel against God from the time in Egypt to the crucifixion of Christ. This is plainly recorded in 1 Ki. 18:13; 22:24-27; 2 Ki. 6:31; 21:16; 2 Chron. 24:19-22; 36:16; Jer. 37:138:28; Mt. 23:37-39; Acts 7:52; Heb. 11:36; Lk. 4:29; Jn. 8:37, 59; 10:31-39; 19:14-30.

The scheme of the husbandmen to seize the inheritance illustrates the reason for their rejection of the Messiah. They sinned against light. If Jesus was the Messiah and if He was introducing the kingdom of God, the whole spirit of which was different from theirs, then they would lose their places as rulers, as teachers, as men of influence, as well as their authority over the people and their chief business. They were so connected with a system and with wrong ideas, principles, and customs, which must pass away with the reign of the Messiah, that if Christ prevailed they must fall. They imagined that if they could destroy Christ, they could continue in their possession of the inheritance. They killed that they might possess, but killing was the shortest road to entire loss. Every possible method of leading them to right conduct had been exhausted; so judgment must fall. They pronounced their own judgment. Mt. 21:40-41 The destruction of the husbandmen refers to the cutting off of Israel and the destruction of their city and nation. Mt. 23:37-39; 24:2; Lk. 21:20-24; Acts 13:44-49; 18:6; Rom. 11:1-33

The central truths illustrated are stated in Mat. 21:42-44. The Jews at last saw the application of the parable and immediately went out unconsciously to fulfill it. There are three main truths illustrated by this story:

  • The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner. 21:42; Ps. 118:22-23; Acts 4:11; 1 Pet. 2:7 The cornerstone on which the superstructure rested was the most important stone in the building. The primary meaning in the Psalm about the rejected stone was taken from the great cornerstone that the builders of Solomon’s Temple left out because they did not understand the head architect’s plans. Afterward this stone was found to be that on which the completeness of the structure depended – on which the two walls met and were bonded together. The Messiah of these Jews was compared to this stone. Christ warned them not to make the same mistake that the builders of the Temple had made.
  • The kingdom of God shall be taken from you and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. 21:43 This refers to the cutting off of Israel from being the ministers and people of God to carry out God’s purpose of evangelizing the world. Acts 13:44-52; 18:6; Rom. 11:1-33 The Gentiles have been the propagators of the Gospel throughout this Age of Grace.
  •  Whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder  Mt. 21:44 This saying means that the individual who humbles himself and falls on the stone for mercy shall receive mercy and shall become broken in heart and spirit, Isa. 57:15; 66:1-2; Ps. 34:18; Mt. 5:3-7 but if he hardens himself against God, he shall receive judgment without mercy. The stone in this verse is the same as in verse 42. It refers to Christ, who is pictured as a stone in Scripture, in a threefold way:
  1. To Israel – He is pictured as a stumbling stone and a rock of offence, because He came as a lowly servant instead of a great world-monarch 8:14; Rom. 9:32-33; 1 Cor. 1:23; 1 Pet. 2:8
  2. To the Church – He is pictured as a foundation stone and the head of the corner 1 Cor. 3:11; 2:20-22; 1 Pet. 2:4-5
  3. To the nations – He is pictured as a smiting stone of destruction 2:34, 44-45; Lk. 21:24; Rev. 16:14; 19:11-21

Israel stumbled over Christ; the Church is built upon Christ; and the nations will be broken by Christ.