Christ the Cornerstone
And He began to speak to them in parables. “A man planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a pit for the winepress and built a tower, and leased it to tenants and went into another country. 2 When the season came, he sent a servant to the tenants to get from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. 3 And they took him and beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 4 Again he sent to them another servant, and they struck him on the head and treated him shamefully. 5 And he sent another, and him they killed. And so with many others: some they beat, and some they killed. 6 He had still one other, a beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 7 But those tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ 8 And they took him and killed him and threw him out of the vineyard.9 What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others. 10 Have you not read this Scripture: “‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; 11 this was the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?” (Mark 12:1-11, ESV)
9 What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others.
The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone;
" 8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders of Israel: 9 If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well, 10 let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. 11 This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ (Acts 4:8-12, ESV)
" 4 Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ." (1 Peter 2:4-5, ESV)
"9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy." (1 Peter 2:9-10, ESV)
" 19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone. 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit." (Ephesians 2:19-22, ESV)
" 18 Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.” (Luke 20:18, ESV)
Week 2 - Christ the Cornerstone
Sunday’s message introduced us to a parable where Jesus confirmed his identity as the son of GOD. Parables can often be confusing and we often make mistakes when we read them. We must be careful not to treat parables as allegories-as if they have come hidden meaning. John Piper says, “every detail of a parable should not be pressed to have a counterpart in the general point that the parable is making. Let’s take a look at this from Sunday’s passage.
1. As a group, look at v6-8. Some people read this passage and will argue that God did not know what would happen to Jesus when He came to earth. But what do we learn from Isaiah 53:10 and John 10:8, to non-parabolic passages concerning this topic?
2. When we break this passage down, we see two statements by the owner/landlord who in the parable is GOD’s counterpart. One can and should be applied to GOD, the other should not, and is only present to illustrate a normal human reaction in the situation. As a group, examine the passage for the two statements and determine which one should be applied to GOD.
Now let’s look at why Jesus spoke in parables.
3. Turn to and read Mark 4:33-34. What does this passage identify as a reason for Jesus speaking in parables?
4. Turn to Matthew 13:9 as a group. What does this passage tell us is the reason for speaking in parables.
5. To provoke interest, belief, and faith in others (think Nicodemus in John 3)Now turn to Matt. 21:43-22:14. Who is Jesus speaking to in this passage?
6. This parable was meant for the Pharisees to understand the meaning as revealed in v45. But why did Jesus want them to now understand? t was meant to identify Himself as a threat and to provoke them to want to kill them. It starts in v15 and from now on they plot to trick and trap Jesus and eventually to kill him (Matt. 26 1-5). But who was not meant to understand this parable?
Jesus spoke in parables for many reasons. He did it to cause greater, deeper thinking. He did it to conceal certain truths from certain people. He did it to create interest and belief among bystanders and others who may have been curious--such as Nicodemus in John 3. Finally, He did it to convey messages to His enemies, who by this point are beginning to assemble together all the puzzle pieces and gain understanding of the meaning of Jesus’ previous parables. This provoked them to want Him jailed and even dead! Jesus was a master communicator and a master tactician. He spoke the way He did to control the flow of information and understanding for certain groups and at certain times! Understanding Jesus’ use of parables can help us better understand their context and Jesus’ desired outcome. This can also keep us from micromanaging them and deducting inaccurate truths that can lead us to a completely different outcome from Jesus’ intent.