For Whom Do You Carry the Stone?

The following story is found in the Gospel of II Matthew— and by that I mean it is fictional and not in the Bible. It comes from Elizabeth Elliot.

Jesus was walking one day with His disciples and asked each one to pick up a stone to carry for Him. They all picked up a stone. Peter, rather a small one; John, a bigger one. Jesus led them to the top of a mountain and then He commanded the stones to be made bread. The disciples were by this time hungry, and so they were given permission to eat the bread in their hands. Of course, Peter didn’t have very much. John shared with him some of the bread that had been made from the stone he had carried.

On another occasion, the same Jesus took the same disciples for a walk and again asked them to pick up a stone to carry for Him. This time you can imagine that Peter picked up a bigger stone. But Jesus did not take them this time to the top of the mountain. He took them to the river. As they stood on the bank looking with questions in their minds to Him, He said, “Throw the stones into the river,” which they did at once in obedience to His command. Then they looked at Him, expectantly waiting for the miracle that would happen this time.

Nothing happened. They waited. They watched. Nothing happened. Jesus, with great compassion, looked on these disciples whom He loved and He said, “For whom did you carry the stone?”

You see Peter’s primary concern was for himself and his comfort. He did everything he could to maximize pleasure and minimize pain. However, the reality is narrow is the road and it is filled with hardships but the narrowness of the road is nothing compared to the vast, deep, soul-satisfying riches we attain by walking with him in joy and perseverance.

Press on!


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