The Kingdom, by Witness Lee

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The situation is the same today. Christians pay attention to many things, but neglect Christ. Although they think they are clever, they really do not know what they are doing. The men who tested the Lord Jesus completely missed the mark, but the Lord Jesus knew what He was doing. Although they missed the mark, He never gave up His goal. Even as He answered their foolish questions, He held on to the goal. This shows that the Lord Jesus will take advantage of any opportunity to reveal Himself. We may inquire foolishly, but the Lord will always answer wisely. Our question may be wrong, but the Lord’s reply will contain something precious.


As He answered all of the people who were testing Him, the Lord Jesus revealed Himself in an all-inclusive way. However, it was in a mysterious and hidden way because He revealed Himself through parables. Consider the parable of the vineyard. In such a simple and hidden way the Lord Jesus revealed Himself as the Son of God and as the Heir of God’s universal inheritance. He also declared that He would be rejected and resurrected as the cornerstone for God’s building. Anyone who falls upon Him will be broken. This is a great matter. If we had been there at the time with this vision, we would have realized the seriousness of His words. Those who tested the Lord Jesus were quite foolish. They did not realize the significance of what the Lord Jesus was saying.

This is the all-inclusive seed sown in Matthew. The Lord Jesus as the stone has three aspects: He is the cornerstone for the building of God, the church; He is the stumbling stone for the unbelieving Jews; and He is the smiting stone which, at His return from the heavens, will fall upon all the nations and break them into pieces (Dan. 2:34-35). We need to see that the Lord Jesus is the stone in these three aspects. This seed is sown in Matthew and is developed throughout the remainder of the New Testament where all three aspects sprout, blossom, and reach the full harvest. In Acts 4:11 Peter said that Christ was the stone rejected by the builders and raised up in resurrection to be the head of the corner. He repeated this in 1 Peter 2:6-8. In Ephesians 2:20 Paul also refers to Christ as the cornerstone. According to Romans 9:32-33, Paul said that Christ had become the stumbling stone to the unbelieving Jews. The New Testament also develops the thought that Christ will smite the Gentile nations (Rev. 19:15). How marvelous that in such a brief parable the Lord Jesus revealed Himself in so many aspects! At least five points were mentioned: Christ is the Son of God, the Heir of God’s inheritance, the cornerstone, the stumbling stone, and the smiting stone. What a rich revelation of Christ! The religious people asked Him, "Who gave you this authority?" The Lord Jesus answered that He was the Son of God, the Heir of God’s inheritance, the cornerstone, the stumbling stone, and the smiting stone. What other authority did He need? No authority could be higher than this.

(The Kingdom, Chapter 31, by Witness Lee)