In the temptation in the wilderness, Jesus faced a pile of rocks and a grudgeful adversary. Satan snarled, “If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread” (Matthew 4:3, KJV, Tyndale, 1987). Jesus had spent forty days praying in isolation and fasting. This miracle would have satisfied the growling of hunger pangs that iminated from His torso. However, this satisfaction would accompany a devious ploy. Satan wanted proof, “if thou be the Son of God.” He was trying to get into Jesus’ head and, in His weakened state, mistrust and discredit His very identity. Each temptation was met with scripture from Deuteronomy (see Deuteronomy 8:3 and chapter 6). Significantly, this Book, along with Leviticus, were instructions given to God’s people on how to live. Jesus had a purpose and would not relent in displaying His power or submitting to this serpent.
Another verse recalls, “And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen;” (Luke 19:37, KJV). This celebration was Jesus’ triumphant entrance into Jerusalem. The Pharisees did not care for the noise and asked Jesus to tell everyone to keep it down. His response is recorded in Luke 19:40, “if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.” When Jesus enters a situation, our response is praise and rejoicing. Creation would jump at the opportunity to replace humanity as the primary worshiper, but the rocks were to remain silent from the beginning.
In Matthew 15, we read of the account whereby Jesus feeds 4,000 hungry souls who had followed Him for days. This event is separate from the feed of the 5,000. On a mountain surrounded by rocks, this was the perfect opportunity to practice a feat well within His ability: turning stones into bread! The devil was nowhere in sight. This demonstration would not enter history as having succumbed to temptation; this would end as one of the greatest miracles of all time! Instead, Jesus turns to His disciples and asks, “What do you have?” This statement is a glimpse into the coming church. Jesus doesn’t always step in and resolve a need immediately. For our growth, it is sometimes necessary for Him to use the available resources, multiply them, and minister to thousands!
Peter refers to the stones as the body of Christ and building His Church until the day of His return. “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 2:5, KJV). These stones are building blocks, steady and sure. These stones are not predicated on shortcuts or temporary satisfaction; they are examples of worship and spiritual growth. Verses 6 through 10 declare, “Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light; Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.” Built on the foundation of Christ, we march on with a mission of reconciliation and assurance that He is multiplying what we bring to the table and reaching hurting souls through our experiences.
You are important and valuable to the Kingdom of God. The structure becomes weakened if one “lively stone” is out of place. The foundation is sure, the chef cornerstone is unwavering, but the integrity of the structure and the solidifying protection of the covering depends on the intact placement of every stone. Be encouraged today that you are an integral piece of the ministry of Jesus Christ. As a royal priesthood, we praise the One who would show us the light through His mercy.