Shelby G. Floyd
No one wishes to be boorish in manners, rude in speech or ugly in spirit; but the most courteous and amiable of persons will find it necessary in their pursuit of truth and righteousness to be offensive to some people.
Christ Was a Rock of Offense
Our Lord Jesus Christ was no exception. Approximately 700 years before his advent to our world, the prophet Isaiah stated that Jesus Christ would be a rock of offense to both of the houses of Israel:
He will be as a sanctuary,
But a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense
To both the houses of Israel,
As a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem
Many years later, in a figure of speech, Christ was compared to the chief cornerstone of a building. That building is the church. Just as the builders rejected the chief cornerstone, so Christ was rejected by the Jews, but later became the head of the corner, a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense to those who believed him not:
“Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone,” and “A stone of stumbling And a rock of offense” (1 Peter 2: 7-8 NKJV).
The Jews Rejected the Rock of Faith
In Paul’s letter to the church at Rome, he explained in detail why the Jews rejected Jesus Christ the Rock of their salvation:
Romans 9:30-33 NKJV
What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith; but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness. Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone. As it is written:
“Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense,
And whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”
And that is the present condition of Israel to this day—they stumble at the stumbling stone and that Stone is Christ Jesus the Lord!
Blessed Are Those Not Offended in Christ
To this day, Jesus Christ is offensive to the Jews because of their unbelief and disobedience of the gospel. Let us notice one of the occasions in the life of Christ when he offended some people by his life and teaching. To those who came from John the Baptist, inquiring of Jesus as to whether he was the one to come, or should they look for another, Jesus replied by saying,
“And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me” (Matthew 11: 6).
There is a state of blessedness pronounced upon those who are not offended by Jesus Christ.
Shelby G. Floyd
Heartland Church of Christ
1693 West Main Street
Greenwood, IN 46142