Oxford First UMC
Stumbling Block
Peter, the Rock, had just been commended by Jesus. "You are blessed, Peter, Rocky, founder of the church! The Father revealed to you I am Messiah." But moments later Rocky, the foundation of the Church, became Rocky the Stumbling Block. "Get away from me Satan! You are mindful of human things, not divine things. You are a stumbling block -- you are toppling the church." So how did Rocky go from founding the Church to enabling its demise? By having a worldly mindset instead of a spiritual one. He meant well. Obviously Jesus was not interested in good intentions. Today we take a look at how good intentions can really become a stumbling block for God's desire for his Church. I hope to see you then.
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  • Oxford First United Methodist Church
    216 Snow St, Oxford, AL 36203, USA
    Sunday 9:00 AM
Peter is Simon's nickname.
Πετρός (Petros) = Rock.

Jesus had just congratulated Peter:
“Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it."
Now Jesus began to tell
of going to Jerusalem
to suffer at the hands of the Sanhedrin,
to be crucified, and
to be raised from death.

Peter took Jesus aside to rebuke him.
Jesus turned and corrected Peter in front of them all.

[Jesus] turned and said to Peter,
“Get behind me, Satan!
You are a stumbling block to me;
for you are setting your mind
not on divine things
but on human things.”
Rocky went from being founding rock of the church
to being stumbling block to Jesus
in just a few minutes.

The term stumbling block comes from the Hebrew root meaning to topple. When someone causes another to topple in his manner of living he is said to be a stumbling block. It is a grave sin to cause others to stumble.

Matthew 18:6-7
6 “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. 7 Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!"
Peter meant well.
Peter had good intentions.

But it still made Jesus angry
that Peter said Jesus should not be
tortured and killed.

Jesus' statement was a
humiliating, stinging rebuke.
Jesus rebuked Peter,
called him Satan,
because Satan had sought
to circumvent his mission.

Become king without the cross.
Whenever we replace
God's agenda with our own
no matter how well-intentioned
we become a stumbling block.
Jesus made it clear
that to be his disciple
one must set aside his own agenda,
pick up a cross, and follow him.

The only way into the kingdom
is on the cross.
1 Peter 2:4-8

4 Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God’s sight, and 5 like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For it stands in scripture:

“See, I am laying in Zion a stone,
a cornerstone chosen and precious;
and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”

7 To you then who believe, he is precious; but for those who do not believe,

“The stone that the builders rejected
has become the very head of the corner,”
8 and
“A stone that makes them stumble,
and a rock that makes them fall.”

They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.