"Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed." (Luke 20:18)
I have always puzzled over this verse. I've read what the commentaries say on the subject, but a few days ago when I read this text anew, I was impressed with a new thought. Maybe it's not as accurate as what the commentaries say, but I find it very inspirational, and I hope and pray you will be as blessed by this as I was.
When you read this text you see that there are only two options mentioned. It's either fall on the stone and be broken, or the stone will fall on you and you will be crushed! There simply aren't any other alternatives mentioned in the text. Therefore, it would seem that we must choose one or the other. But before making the choice, let's take a look at some possible explanations for the symbols.
Stone: A "stone" or "rock" is often used in the Bible as a symbol of Jesus. A few of the references are: "O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer." Ps. 19:14, "To you I call, O LORD my Rock . . ." (Ps 28:1), "Since you are my rock and my fortress . . ." (Ps 31:3), "He alone is my rock and my salvation . . ." (Ps 62:2).
Crushed: Reference is made to a rock that crushes in the book of Daniel. The king sees a vision of a great statue made of many different metals. But then: "a rock was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were broken to pieces at the same time and became like chaff on a threshing floor in the summer. The wind swept them away without leaving a trace." (Dan 2:34-35) The explanation is given in Dan 2:44: "the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever." The crushing by a rock? It leaves what was crushed like "chaff" that the wind will sweep away "without leaving a trace", and the crushing process will "bring them to an end".
Broken: When talking about those who fall upon the rock, though the text says they will be "broken to pieces" (which sounds rather painful to me!), it doesn't seem to simply, as the word crush does, that they will be brought to an end. It simply implies that they will no longer exist in their old form. The apostle Paul tells us that if we are in Christ, we are a "new creation". "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" (2 Cor 5:17-18) This would imply that some sort of changing process has to occur! He also tells us that our "old selves" must be "crucified": "For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin" (Rom 6:6-7). Jesus Himself made references to changes that have to occur in us before we can be what God wants us to be: "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." (John 3:3). Finally, Ezekiel mentions another rather painful process, the removal of our "heart of stone": "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh." Ezek 36:26-27. None of these changes sound like they would be much fun to go through, yet look at the benefits! A new heart, a new creation, a new self!
But how can all of these changes take place? By our own might and power? No, we can't do it on our own! We need divine help! We need help from the Rock! "'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,'" (Zech 4:6). Is this what Jesus is referring to when He says "Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces"? Does He mean that the old self must be broken so that we are not longer slaves to sin? That the breaking process is a necessary part of the "new creation", the "rebirth"? That in order to get our "heart of flesh", we must first be broken?
What do you think, my friends? Would you like to fall upon the stone of your own choosing, letting it break you apart so that you could be made new? Or would you choose to let the stone fall upon you, crushing you, grinding you into dust that is scattered in the wind? The choice is yours to make!
Lord God, I choose this day to "fall" upon the Stone -- that the old man of sin be broken, that my stony heart be taken away, so that I can truly be a new creation in You!