The Stone The Builders Rejected

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Matthew 21:42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes?

What is our purpose? What is our goal?

Our text today comes at the end of a parable that Jesus spoke to the Chief Priests and Pharisees of His day. The Chief Priests and Pharisees were considered “the builders” of Israel. They weren’t actually the builders – God is the Builder.

Psalm 127:1 Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.

God is the Builder of His Kingdom. God the Son now stands in front of the Chief Priests and the Pharisees, and as He stands there these people reject Him and plot against Him. Jesus speaks a parable to them, to show them that their focus is wrong. The Kingdom of God belongs to God, not to man. The fruit of the Kingdom of God belongs to God, not to us.

The Fruit Of The Kingdom Belongs To The Owner

Let’s talk about the parable before we discuss this text.

Matthew 21:33 Hear another parable …

Why does Jesus keep dealing with the Chief Priests and Pharisees? Why doesn’t He just tell these people to take a hike? Is Jesus just argumentative? Does Jesus just want to humiliate these people? No, I don’t believe that. I believe it is because

Jesus loves these people, and does not want
to give up on them

Though He will not justify their errors – He is always quick to point out their errors – Jesus keeps a dialogue going because He wants to reach their lost souls.

It is never a waste of time to share the Word of God. It is never an error to tell others the Words of Christ. “Hear another parable”, God the Son says. Jesus has time even for the most hardened. The writer of Hebrews said:

Hebrews 1:1-2 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2 hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

God speaks to us through His Son. He is speaking to the Pharisees and Priests because God wants them to repent, to return to where they belong. They believe that they are in charge of the Kingdom of God. Let me say that again, because it bears repeating.

The Chief Priests and Pharisees believe THEY own the
Kingdom of God! They don’t. God does.

They are wrong. There are people today in Churches all across America that believe “they own the Kingdom of God”. They are wrong. God owns the Kingdom of God. God owns it – not you or I. God owns our very bodies. He owns the air we breath. But Jesus speaks this parable, planting the seed, hoping they will repent (though they will not).

Before we read the parable, let’s describe the people the parable represents.

The HOUSEHOLDER Is Our Creator God
The VINEYARD Is The Kingdom of God
The HUSBANDMEN or GARDENERS Are Kingdom Workers
The SERVANTS Are The Kingdom Prophets & Preachers
The SON Is Jesus Christ

Understanding who the characters are, let’s read the parable.

Matthew 21:33 Hear another parable: There was a certain householder {this is Creator God}, which planted a vineyard {this is the Kingdom of God}, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen {these are the Gardeners or Kingdom Workers}, and went into a far country {that’s Heaven}:

It is God Who creates all things. It is God Who planted the vineyard. God started the vineyard in the Old Testament when He came to Abraham, telling that wonderful follower of God:

Genesis 12:1-3 … Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: 2 and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 3 and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

God said “I will make you … I will bless you … In YOU shall all the families of the earth be blessed because I will do this”. God called Abraham out, and saved Abraham by faith. Abraham, flawed as he was, kept looking to the Lord Jesus. Jesus said in another place to the Pharisees:

John 8:56, 58 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. 57 Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? 58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

Abraham recognized God as the planter of the Vineyard. Abraham followed the Lord. What did God do with His Kingdom in Israel? He not only planted the Kingdom, but God

Matthew 21:33 … hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen

God hedged it. He removed the weeds from it, so that it could grow. God dug a winepress in it. It was a centerpiece of God’s Kingdom that the Messiah would come through it. The winepress was the place where the fruit of the vine was taken to be crushed.

Jesus Christ was placed in the winepress, Calvary itself, crushed by the wrath of God for our sins.

At the first Lord’s Table Jesus gave His disciples the Cup, saying:

Matthew 26:28 for this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

Jesus went to the winepress for us, so that we do not have to face the wrath of God. He went to Calvary so that our sins could be forgiven, that His Kingdom could be established. The Lord also “built a tower”, or put a hedge of protection around His Kingdom. Then He “let it out to gardeners or workers” who were suppose to work for His Kingdom.

Matthew 21:34-35 … and when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants {the prophets and preachers} to the husbandmen {the workers in the Kingdom}, that they might receive the fruits of it. 35 And the {workers} took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another.

As the Kingdom of God grew, the Owner of the Kingdom, our Creator God, expected fruit from the vineyard.

God expects Kingdom Praise, and Honor, and Glory.

God expects Thanksgiving from His people.

God expects obedience, and fidelity to the truth.

He sent the Prophets and Preachers to His Old Testament Kingdom we call Israel. When God sent Elijah, how was he received? Elijah said:

1 Kings 19:10 the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.

God’s Kingdom under Israel did not prosper, because the Pharisees and Priests believed it was THEIR Kingdom and not GOD’S Kingdom. The religious crowd took over the Kingdom. Jesus goes on to say:

Matthew 21:36-40 Again, he {God the Father} sent other servants {prophets and preachers} more than the first: and they did unto them likewise. 37 But last of all he sent unto them his son {this is Jesus Christ}, saying, They will reverence my son. 38 But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance. 39 And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him. 40 When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen?

God waits. He tolerates the evil, because He wants as many as possible to come forth and be saved by faith in His Beloved Son Jesus Christ. The Apostle declared:

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

God wants no one to be lost, so He tarries in judgment. But He will not wait forever. Jesus Christ came unto His own people, but His own people would not receive Him (John 1:11). When He first began ministering, Jesus told the people:

Matthew 15:24 … I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

The Father sent the Son to Israel. Jesus was born a Jew, from a virgin named Mary, in order to fulfill the prophesies of the Messiah. Jesus Christ came and clearly presented Himself as “the Way, the Truth, and the Life: No man comes to God the Father but by Him” (John 14:6). But they caught Him, and cast the Son of the Owner of the Vineyard out, and executed Him. Jesus asked them,

Matthew 21:40 When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen?

When the Messiah is rejected, then there is no hope but the wrath of God being poured out. If we do not receive Christ as Lord and Savior, accepting Him in the Winepress of Calvary, then we ourselves will one day be in the winepress of God’s righteous judgment.

Isaiah 63:3-4 I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. 4 For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come.

The Bible tells us that:

John 3:16-18 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

The Pharisees and Priests refuse to believe in Christ. They refuse to believe because they have taken over the vineyard. It is no longer the Kingdom of God, but the Kingdom of man, of the Pharisees and Priests.

Jesus Is The Stone The Builders Rejected
And Rejected Even Today

Matthew 21:42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes?

Jesus quotes:

Psalms 118:22-23 The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. This is the LORD’S doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.

The “Builders” of Israel rejected the Son of God. Jesus is the God chosen Cornerstone of His Kingdom. Jesus Christ was sent of the Father to be the main pillar of His Kingdom. Gods prophesied of Jesus in …

Isaiah 28:16 therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not {be disturbed}.

Jesus Christ is the Cornerstone of the Kingdom of God. It was the Blood of Jesus that was being illustrated by the animal sacrifices and the offerings. Jesus Christ is in the Passover Lamb, for if He is received as Lord and Savior, then:

1 Corinthians 5:7 Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us: 8 therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

When Peter and the Apostles would, following the resurrection of Christ, preach the Gospel before these same people, he would say:

Acts 4:8-12 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, 9 if we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; 10 be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. 11 This is the stone which was set at naught of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. 12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Jesus Christ is the Cornerstone of God’s Kingdom. He died for it’s citizens. He rose again to lead and defend us. If you reject Jesus, then you have rejected the Kingdom of God. Jesus told the Pharisees and Priests:

Matthew 21:43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.

The Kingdom of God divorced from Jesus Christ is no longer the Kingdom of God. Jesus is the main Focus of His Kingdom. When Christ is taken out of the program, it is no longer the Kingdom of God – it is something else. So God the Son tells these “Builders”,

You tried building the Kingdom without Christ the Cornerstone, So God will raise up other builders who will cherish the Son!”

Any nation, any people, any Church that has rejected Jesus Christ as the Cornerstone, it will be rejected of God. Jesus said:

Matthew 21:44 And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.

What can you do with a cornerstone? You can trip over it, and hurt yourself. You can let it fall on you, and hurt yourself. Or you can recognize it as the Cornerstone, and hide yourself in it’s structure.

Jesus Christ is the Chief Cornerstone of God’s Kingdom. You cannot enter God’s Kingdom without Jesus. Your name cannot be written in the Book of Life if you do not acknowledge Him as Lord and Savior. Israel thought that it was their own goodness that brought them into the Kingdom of God. It wasn’t. It was Jesus. God blessed Israel because of Jesus, because Jesus would come from Israel. The Apostle Paul said:

Romans 9:30-33 What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. 31 But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. 32 Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone; 33 as it is written, Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of ofoffense: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

The Chief Priests and Pharisees thought that entrance into the Kingdom of God was through the door of the Law. It wasn’t. Entrance into the Kingdom of God is through the door that is Christ (John 10:7). Jesus said:

John 10:9 I am the door: by Me, if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

Jesus was a Rock of Offense to the religious leaders in Jerusalem – but to those who believed in Him, He is the foundation of a blessed and beautiful life.

Romans 14:17-18 … the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. 18 For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.

The Church that is Christ’s Church cannot be defeated. Why? Because it is:

Ephesians 2:20 … built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

Jesus is the Chief Corner Stone. Jesus is our Master and Lord. Everything we do is for the glory of God the Father in Christ our Lord. We who are His Church celebrate Him. I close with the words of the Apostle:

1 Peter 2:4-8 To {Jesus} coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Zion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

We who are saved are “lively stones” because Jesus Christ bore the winepress of God’s wrath. Dying for our sins, He rose from the grave. He is the Chief Cornerstone of our faith. He is the Leader we look to, the Savior we follow.

So the choice, dear One, is yours. Jesus Christ is the King of the Kingdom of God. You yourselves need to decide whether you will receive Him as both Lord and Savior, or reject Him. He offers us no other alternative. Receive Him, and believe He gave Himself for your salvation. Receive Him, and follow Him daily as Savior and Lord. Or reject Him, and bear the consequences. I pray that you will come to Him fully this very day. May God the Holy Spirit and the Word of the Lord draw you this very day. Amen and Amen!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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