I came across a very interesting verse during my quiet time today in the book of Matthew:
“Anyone who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed”Matthew 21:44
For some reason, this verse struck me. I have always loved Jesus’ words two verses before this one, where he says that the stone that the builders had rejected has now become the cornerstone by the Lord’s doing, and it was a marvelous thing (Matthew 21:42). Here, Jesus was talking about himself. As the cornerstone, Jesus is the base and the foundation of our faith, and without him, there is no salvation.
Across most of Matthew 21, Jesus was addressing the chief priests, scribes and pharisees, the religious leaders of the time. In the various parables he told, he highlighted the fact that these religious leaders, by rejecting him, were rejecting truth and salvation. What is quite fascinating to me is that while Jesus spoke in parables, the religious leaders understood that Jesus was speaking about them and their inability to believe the truth.
“When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus’ parables, they knew he was talking about them”Matthew 21:45
This tells me that when God has a message for you, even when it is hidden from others, he will give you revelation. For the religious leaders, he spoke to their pride and stubbornness. I like to think that it was with the hope that they would come to a place of repentance. It is not God’s will that anyone perishes as we see in 2 Peter 3:9 which says, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance”. Unfortunately, the religious leaders chose a different path, to stay in their pride and stubbornness. God, in his usual divine, unfathomable ways, used this for our benefit. The religious leaders orchestrated Jesus’ death, and his resurrection created a way for us to be saved and return to God. It truly all works together for good to them that love God, and are called according to his purpose :).
Anyway, back to the verse today. Reading it for the first time, I thought it was quite harsh, and perhaps understandably so, as Jesus was speaking to very stubborn and prideful people. But reading it again made me realize there are are two sides to this verse. This (corner)stone works in two ways; if one falls on it, they are broken to pieces. If the stone falls on a person, they are crushed. But what exactly does that mean?
Analyzing this verse, I see that being broken to pieces and being crushed are two different things. Being crushed seems to be an ultimate end for those who do not believe. On the other hand, we who run to Christ, we who fall on him will indeed be broken, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. My bible tells me that a broken spirit is a sacrifice that God will not despise.
“The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.”Psalms 51:17, New Living Translation
God needs to break us to mold us. He needs to break our thoughts, beliefs and habits. While this speaks to wrong thoughts, beliefs and habits we might have that are leading us away from the Lord, it also speaks to all the wrong ideas about who we are and what our purpose is on earth. For us to see ourselves as God sees us, all the wrong words and ideas planted in us have to be removed.
Everything that we learnt from our circumstances that is contrary to God’s will must be erased to create room for new, God given ideas and vision. Every child of God is precious and loved, and there is a specific, very unique plan God has for their lives. If we never break away from the mold the world tries to put us in, we live our lives without true meaning, and our potential ends up buried in the grave when we exit this life. This was never God’s plan. There is so much more! There is always more that God wants to do through us, and in us! But there is a breaking process to shift our minds and ways into alignment with God’s will and ways.
And this is what Jesus, our cornerstone does for us. He breaks us and molds us into something better. He shows us the path we are supposed to be on, and equips us for the journey. If I want to press in to what God has called me to be in this life, I must be willing to be broken. It is difficult to ask for brokenness in the natural, but my prayer today is that by his grace, I may allow God to break me in every area that needs to be broken, for his ultimate glory. Are you willing to be broken today and be remolded into the person that God pre-destined you to be in this life?