VOTD October 28, 2021 – Thursday
Matthew 21:42 NIV
42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: “‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?”
Fascinating. This is the first time Jesus refers to Himself as a stone and a cornerstone and He does it by quoting Psalm 118:22. In doing so He is finally answering a question put to Him by the chief priests and the elders of the people in verse 22, By what authority are you doing these things? And who gave you this authority?” Jesus did not answer them.
Instead, He asked them a question about the source of John’s baptism v25, Was it from heaven, or of human origin? When they could not answer He refused to answer their question about His authority. Instead, He shared a parable with them which demonstrated why tax collectors (hated in Israel as they collected taxes for Rome) and prostitutes were entering the kingdom of God ahead of them.
But Jesus was not finished with them. He told them another parable about a landowner with a vineyard and a winepress which was rented to farmers (the Pharisees). When the landowner sent servants to collect his share of the fruit the farmers killed first one and then another. Finally, he sent his son, thinking they would respect him (v37). They didn’t. They killed him as well. Jesus then sets the trap by asking the Pharisees in v40, Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants? And they stepped right into it condemning themselves by answering in v41, He will bring those wretches to a wretched end, and he will rent the vineyard to other tenants, who will give him his share of the crop at harvest time. Yes, they were headed toward a wretched end as they refused to recognize Jesus as the Son of God.
That is when Jesus said, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: “‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?” If we turn to Ezra 3:10-11a we read, When the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, the priests in their vestments and with trumpets, and the Levites (the sons of Asaph) with cymbals, took their places to praise the Lord, as prescribed by David king of Israel. With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the Lord: “He is good; his love toward Israel endures forever.” That last part is the first and last verse of Psalm 118 which implies they sang the entire Psalm. Charles H. Spurgeon believes the Psalm was about King David and verse 22 refers to a time when David as the King of Israel, whose deliverance and victory were being celebrated, had been looked upon with contempt by the invaders. Spurgeon comments, A wise king and valiant leader is a stone by which the national fabric is built up. … making him the chief cornerstone of the state.
In his discussion of this verse, Spurgeon notes, to none is this text so applicable [but] as to the Lord Jesus himself; [the Jewish leaders] rejected him with disdain. They cast him away and poured contempt upon him. Then a bit later states, In raising him from the dead, the Lord God exalted him to be the head of his church, the very pinnacle of her glory and beauty. Since then he has become the confidence of the Gentiles, even of them that are afar off upon the sea, and thus he has joined the two walls of Jew and Gentile into one stately temple, and is seen to be the corner-stone, making both one.
Let me repeat part of what Spurgeon wrote, [Jesus] has joined the two walls of Jew and Gentile into one stately temple, and is seen to be the corner-stone, making both one. Incredibly powerful. Perhaps it helps to know that “The cornerstone is the first stone set in the construction of a masonry foundation. All other stones will be set in reference to this stone, thus determining the position of the entire structure (Wikipedia).”
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Jesus is the cornerstone also of our lives, the reference on how we will live out our lives as Christians. Thank you for Your Son and the salvation You provided through Him. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton in Beavercreek