October 29, 2021 – Friday
Matthew 21:43-44 NIV
43 “Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.
44 Anyone who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.”
If you are paying attention, these two verses follow immediately after yesterday’s Verse Of The Day, verse 42 which read, 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’?”’ Jesus goes on in verse 43 telling the Pharisees they will not have the kingdom of God and instead it will be given to a people who will produce its fruit.
What is the fruit Jesus is speaking of here? He is speaking of the same thing John the Baptist was speaking of when he addressed the Pharisees and Sadducees when they came to where he was baptizing. They had no intention of getting baptized as they would not repent, so in verses 3:7-8 he said, You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. In other words, fruit or good works follow repentance and without repentance there can be no good fruit.
The same is true when we repent of our sins and accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. We read in the book of James that deeds (fruit) follow the faith that led to salvation. James said in 2:26, As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead. Good fruit follows salvation, if it does not then the voicing of faith is false. He made that clear earlier when he wrote in v18, But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. And in verse 20, faith without deeds is useless.
With this in mind let’s look at verse 44, Anyone who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed. Just as a vessel thrown against a stone will be broken. Or if it is on the ground when a falling stone strikes it, then it will be broken/crushed. So it is for those who reject Jesus, they will be doomed, condemned to hell. This was also spoken of in Isaiah 8:14, He will be a holy place; for both Israel and Judah he will be a stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall. And for the people of Jerusalem he will be a trap and a snare. And in Daniel 2:34 as well when he was explaining a dream of a statue king Nebuchadnezzar he did not understand, While you were watching, a rock was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them. Then at the end of verse 35, after all traces of the statue were swept away, But the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth. The rock of course is Jesus, and He will return and rule over the entire earth.
Bottom Line: Christ in verse 44 is showing the terrible results of unbelief, for those who refuse to believe and refuse the free gift of Grace. The Pulpit Commentary goes further, stating The persons here spoken of are not those who are offended at Christ’s low estate; they are such as put themselves in active opposition to him and his kingdom; on them he will fall in terrible vengeance, and will utterly destroy them without hope of recovery. Not a good idea to be in opposition to Jesus the Christ who will return! BTW, verse 45 tells us, When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus’ parables, they knew he was talking about them. And they were not happy about it. They wanted to arrest Him, but were fearful of doing so because the people believed Jesus to be a prophet.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for making it so clear that those who oppose Jesus and those who place their faith in Him will not fare well at all. Thank You for showing good deeds or works follow our salvation. Our deeds or works are evidence of our salvation and in no way earn us our salvation. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton in Beavercreek