Saturday, October 10, 2009

Fall On The Rock!

Many times I have used the expression, “fall on the Rock!” It’s become something of a mantra for me when talking to other Christians. What I am doing is warning believers to embrace the cross and take initiative in humbling themselves. Lots of folks just look at me, kind of understanding but not really comprehending what I am saying to them.

Let’s make it clear:

And He looked at them and said, What then is this which is written, "The Stone which the builders rejected, the same has become the Head of the corner? Whoever shall fall on that Stone shall be broken, but on whomever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder." Luke 20:17,18

In context, the Lord was telling the story about the owner of a filed that rented out his field to vinedressers. When the Lord of the vineyard sent his servants for fruit, the vinedressers beat and sent them away. Ultimately the Lord sent His son to them and they killed Him. The climax of the story is the owner of the vineyard coming back to take possession of his own vineyard and killing the workers that He hired! The point of this story is simple: be a good steward, the King is coming BACK.

Then the Lord tells them something amazing, He says:

“Whoever shall fall on that Stone shall be broken, but on whomever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder." Luke 20:18

He tells them that He is the stone. More than that, He is making a statement that ultimately we will ALL be broken, regardless. It’s like we have no choice in the matter. God says that we can be broken big or broken small, but we WILL be broken! Of course, I would rather be broken in pieces than ground to powder and I don’t know anyone who is in their right mind that wants to be ground into powder. Big pieces are better.

So how do we fall on the rock?


There are two stories in the Bible of people that came to Jesus that illustrate this story very well. Both of them we are very familiar with, but did we understand the message? The first is the story of the rich young ruler:

“And behold, one came and said to Him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life? And He said to him, Why do you call Me good? There is none good but one, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments. He said to Him, Which? Jesus said, You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not bear false witness, honor your father and mother, and, you shall love your neighbor as yourself. The young man said to Him, I have kept all these things from my youth up; what do I lack yet?” Matthew 19:16-20

This young man came to Jesus seeking a good thing, eternal life. When Jesus gave him the answer, “keep the commandments” his response revealed his heart. Instead of humbly accepting the Word, he still sought to be justified and replied: “which commandment?” Jesus gave him a laundry list including don’t murder, don’t steal and don’t commit adultery. The young man tells Jesus that he has in fact kept ALL these commandments, yet still profoundly feels lack and Jesus’ response is extreme:

“Jesus said to him, If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in Heaven. And come, follow Me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions.” Matthew 19: 21,22

Jesus tells him, “Ok, if you want to be perfect (complete) go and sell EVERYTHING you have and give it to the poor, then come and follow me.” Jesus upped the ante and basically told the guy, “Give it all away”. The man went away sad, because he was rich and had many possessions. This story is a dramatic example of the cost of the cross and for years has inspired many folks to give everything they have away to pursue perfection. Now, that’s noble, but I think we are missing the point.

Let’s look at another rich man that came to Jesus, Zaccheus:

“And going in, He passed through Jericho. And behold, there was a man named Zaccheus, who was a chief tax-collector. And he was rich. And he sought to see Jesus, to see who He was. And he could not because of the press, because he was little in stature. And he ran in front and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him. For He was to pass through that way. And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him. And He said to him, Zaccheus! Hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house. And hurrying he came down, and received Him joyfully.” Luke 19:1-6

We find the same basic story, a man of resource came to Jesus, but this story ends much differently than the last one. We know that Zaccheus had wealth because he was a tax collector and tax collectors became very wealthy extorting money from Jews as they gathered tax revenue for Rome. We also know that he was dishonest:

“And seeing, they all murmured, saying, He has gone in to stay with a sinful man.” Luke 19:7

The people were offended with Jesus because He was staying with a sinful man. Zaccheus was a known liar and thief. Yet this story ended so differently than the previous one with the “righteous” young ruler. In hearing the murmuring of the people that he was a wicked man, Zaccheus response was immediate:

“And Zaccheus stood and said to the Lord, Behold, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor. And in anything I accused anyone falsely, I restore it fourfold.” Luke 19:8

Zaccheus stood and willingly gave HALF of his possessions to the poor and returned four-fold what he had stolen and defrauded. Jesus’ response was awesome:

“And Jesus said to him, This day salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham.” Luke 19:9

Jesus proclaimed over Zaccheus that salvation had come to him! How is that? The rich man was REQUIRED to give his ENTIRE house to experience the blessings of salvation and Zaccheus got off with only giving HALF! How does that work?

“And whoever shall exalt himself shall be abased, and he who shall humble himself shall be exalted.” Matthew 23:12

Simple. It’s a heart issue. God looks at the heart. The rich young ruler thought he was hot stuff, so the Lord raised the bar to a level that he couldn’t reach. Instead of humbling Himself, the Lord had to do it for him! The rock (Jesus) fell on the rich young ruler and he was reduced to powder. Trust me, we don’t want God humbling us, he does a much better job than we ever could. Zaccheus on the other hand humbled HIMSELF. He fell on the rock. His sacrifice and repentance was acceptable in the Lord’s sight because it was willingly offered.

The moral of this story?



Chris Welch - 07000INTUNE said...

I have linked to this

QuantumGreg said...

That is awesome. I needed that. Thanks brother.