Your Life, Built Right2
“What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? 16 He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others.”
When the people heard this, they said, “God forbid!”
17 Jesus looked directly at them and asked, “Then what is the meaning of that which is written:
“‘The stone the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone’?
18 Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.”19 The teachers of the law and the chief priests looked for a way to arrest him immediately, because they knew he had spoken this parable against them. But they were afraid of the people.
The crowd around Jesus seems to understand that this parable is about them. They seem to understand that Jesus is introducing the possibility of God giving away the vineyard (the land and perhaps even the promises of Israel) to some other tenants—presumably the Gentiles, the non-Jewish peoples, whom they despised.
And so the crowd utters one of the strongest statements recorded in the New Testament: “God forbid!” May it never be!
Jesus maintains that the Owner of the vineyard is the one who has authority over the vineyard. And the Son that the Owner has sent who is murderously rejected by the religious leaders will (in a surprising reversal of fortunes) become the cornerstone for God’s eternal work and redemption of the world.
How do we live in line with who God is and the world God designed? Jesus is the cornerstone. A cornerstone is not intended to be fallen upon or to fall upon anyone. A cornerstone is laid in order for a big, beautiful, strong building to be built.
And so Jesus warns us that we can either build our lives with him as our cornerstone or we will fall over and upon this cornerstone and suffer the consequences, just like Israel did.
In giving us instructions on how to live in line with God and God’s design, Jesus gives us plenty of warnings. Warnings are instructions given in love about what will happen if we do not live in line with the physical, spiritual, emotional, and relational realities that God has woven into the fabric of this cosmos.
This is the most important moment in the religious leader’s lives. They resist it. And the whole nation pays the price.
What do you think it means for you today to live in line with who God is and the world God designed? What parts of your life are not built on the cornerstone but on something else? What do you think it would mean to shift the entire weight of your life onto Christ as your cornerstone?