But Jesus looked at them and said, "What then is this that is written: 'THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED, THIS BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone'?Luke 20:17(NASB)
In the final week of Christ's ministry, the religious leaders became increasingly hostile towards Him. They challenged His authority and made many attempts to find fault in His person, His teaching, His miracles, and His Messianic claims. Many months if not years earlier, these pious people had blasphemed the Holy Spirit by accusing the Lord Jesus of casting out demons by the power of Beelzebub, and from that time forward He only taught in parables, for Jesus knew that He would be rejected by His own people as prophesied in Old Testament Scriptures.
But Jesus was the sinless Lamb of God and they could find no fault in Him. Jesus was the Messiah of Israel, the Horn of Salvation, the Prophet like unto Moses, the Bread of Life, and the Living Water. Jesus was the Stone which the builders rejected Who would become the Chief Cornerstone. As the shadow of the Cross grew ever closer, the challenges from the proud, pious Jews became more and more frenetic, as they attempted to trip Him up with deceitful questions.
In the midst of an aggressive onslaught from the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders, the Lord Jesus began to tell the people the parable of the vine-grower. In this parable, a man rented out his vineyard to tenants, but when he sends slaves to collect the produce, they beat and mistreat them. Finally, the vine-grower sends his beloved son, but the wicked tenants kill him in order to take the inheritance for themselves.
This parable identified the Pharisees, chief priests, scribes, and religious elders as the wicked tenants of the vineyard, who would not only kill and mistreat the Vine-grower's servants (the prophets of old) but would also kill the Vine-growers beloved Son and heir (the Lord Jesus Christ) in order to steal His inheritance. Jesus explained to the people listening, that the Owner of the vineyard would come and destroy the evil tenants and give the vineyard to others.
When those that were listening heard this they cried out, "No! May this never be!" But as we read in Luke 20: "Jesus looked at them and asked a very poignant question, 'What, then, is this that is written: THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED, THIS BECAME THE CHIEF CORNERSTONE?'"
Jesus came as Israel's King and God's long-promised Messiah, but as prophesied of old, He was despised and rejected by those He came to save. He came to His own people to claim His rightful position as Israel's King through the line of David, but instead of rejoicing that Scripture was being fulfilled, they crucified Him. In this verse, Jesus quotes Psalm 118 verse 22, making it clear to all His readers that HE is the Stone about Whom David prophesied. He was the One rejected by Israel's leadership, HE is the One anointed of God as the Rock of our Salvation, and HE is "The Stone which the builders rejected Who has become the Chief Cornerstone."
When this verse was quoted in the Old Testament, the people understood this to be referring to stones that were prepared in the building of the Temple, but when Christ quoted this important passage in the Gospels, it takes on a completely new meaning - a meaning that was hidden in times past. The Stone that was rejected 2000 years ago is the Lord Jesus, but today, we who believe know Him to be the most important Foundation Stone on which our entire faith is founded.
Back in the time of Moses, Jesus was the Rock from which water flowed, and throughout the Old Testament there are many references to the ROCK on which our faith is founded. In 2 Samuel He is referred to as the Rock of Israel, in Psalm 62 He is the Rock of my salvation, while in Psalm 91 we discover Him to be the Rock, our Redeemer.
Hebrews reminds us that Jesus is the Author and Finisher of our faith, and in Ephesians, the apostle Paul explains that the Christian Church, which is the Household of God, is built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the Chief Cornerstone. Peter writes that we should come to Him as to a Living Stone which has been rejected by men, but Who is choice and precious in the sight of God.
May we build our lives upon Christ, the Cornerstone of our faith, and trust Him in all our doings.
Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus, to be the Rock of my salvation. I praise You that the Stone that was rejected 2000 years ago is the Cornerstone of my faith and that through Him, I have become part of the Household of God. Thank You for my salvation in Him and that Your grace is sufficient for everything I may face. May I live my life to Your honour and glory. In Jesus' name I pray, AMEN.