1 Peter 2:4-8
As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in Scripture:
“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone,
a cornerstone chosen and precious,
and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”
So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe,
“The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone,”[a]
“A stone of stumbling,
and a rock of offense.”
They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.
Rejection. It hurts. No one likes it and we’ll do what we can to avoid it.
And yet, if you are a follower of Jesus – an exile – it’s to be expected. As we long to be everything God declares we can be in Christ Jesus, rejection will come.
Well, that’s great (please note my sarcasm). So why would we willingly suffer and face rejection? Because we know that Jesus is worth it. We’ve tasted the spiritual milk. We know who we once were and who we are now in Christ.
Let’s take a step back; why is it guaranteed that we’ll face rejection? Because Jesus did first.
Looking at verses 4 & 5, we see Jesus referred to as the Living Stone who was rejected by men, but chosen and precious by God.
The stone has this idea of God’s rule and reign. As the Living stone, it’s important to note that he’s alive. Not dead. That feels too obvious to point out, but it’s important because it means that the stone is active and working.
And this Living Stone was rejected. Jesus, the son of God, was accused of being a fraud, a traitor, a criminal. He was crucified in the worst way imaginable.
But the One who was rejected, was actually chosen and precious. His seemingly ultimate rejection was actually part of God’s plan all along. His rejection was part of the plan to save you and me.
And as we come to put our trust in the Living Stone (Jesus), we are becoming like Living Stones (Jesus). And as living stones, we are built into a spiritual house, aka a temple, aka where God dwells by His spirit.
Are we building a literal temple? No. But we are the spiritual house. The church. Each individual is a living stone when you trust in THE Living Stone (Jesus), and together – in all our individual uniqueness – we are built into a new spiritual house, a house of the Spirit where God dwells among us. That’s pretty wild when you think about it. Like really, really think about it. This means a few things:
- This (as in us – Grace Community Church) is not a social project or another community gathering. There is something supernatural happening here. Our life together in our diversity and unity has great, eternal purpose.
- That also means our relationships are crucial, not optional. Whether we like each other or not, we are being built together in a spiritual house.
- Following Jesus means suffering & rejection because our Living Stone, the one we trust, suffered and was rejected.
- Following Jesus is not a matter of your commitment or willpower. Following Jesus is a matter of how valuable and precious Jesus is. Because following Jesus will put you at odds with the world that rejected him.
- Is Jesus worth being rejected for? (yes.)
The good news is, it doesn’t end with suffering and rejection. Here’s the promise in verses 6 & 7: “whoever believes in him will not be put to shame… the honor is for you who believe…”
Your rejection will not end in your shame. You will be vindicated.
But every person has this decision to make: what you do with Jesus. You can’t be neutral when it comes to Jesus. He is either the savior of the world and you need saving. Or, He is not and you don’t need saving.
Jesus is either your Living Stone, the cornerstone in which everything is built on top of. Or He’s the stone that stubs your toe and trips you up.
So, I’ll leave you with this question. Who is Jesus to you? Do you want Him to be your Living Stone, but don’t know what that means? Let us know. We’d love to talk with you.