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Friday, 30 November 2018

Matthew 21 : 28-46

“And he who falls on this Stone will be broken to pieces; but he on whom it falls will be crushed.” -Matthew 21:44

Through the Parable of the Two Sons and the Parable of the Tenants, Jesus Christ emphasizes how our perception of one stone could cause it to be a capstone or a stumbling block. These parables hold valuable lessons for us today depending on how we relate to Christ.  Who is Jesus Christ to you—is He the Cornerstone on which you are being built or is He the crushing Stone who will bring judgment?

In the Parable of the Two Sons (Matt 21:28-32), the eldest refused his father’s instruction, but later changed his mind and obeyed him while the younger son agreed to go to work but did not go. Just like the younger son, many today show superficial piety and outward signs of spirituality but remain disobedient to God. To such Jesus Christ is a stumbling block. However, to the sinner who turns to God in repentance and obedience, like the elder son, Jesus Christ is the capstone on which their life is built.

 In the Parable of the Tenants (Matt 21:33-41), the landowner represents God, the vineyard is the nation of Israel that God planted, the vinedressers refer to the Jewish religious leaders, the landowner’s servants are the prophets who in obedience proclaimed God’s word to them; the son is Jesus Christ, and the other vinedressers refer to the Gentiles. While the parable relates to the Jews persecution of their prophets and the eventual rejection and crucifixion of the Messiah, there is a grave consequence for these actions that applies to us as well. 

Have you received Christ as Lord or rejected His Lordship like the vinedressers? If you have not yet surrendered your life to Jesus Christ—the Son of God who took on the punishment for our sins, died on the cross, whom God raised the third day and who is seated on the right hand of God interceding for us—repent and turn to God, accepting Jesus Christ as your Saviour (Acts 4:11-12). As a believer, if you have drifted from obedience to God and led an unfruitful life, return to the Lord in repentance and seek a personal relationship with Him. Let Christ be the Cornerstone of your life!  

The Cornerstone: To those who believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, Christ is the Cornerstone and the firm foundation on which our lives are built. Therefore thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation,  A tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; Whoever believes will not act hastily.” (Isaiah 28:16) If Christ is our Cornerstone, we ‘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).  The Church, in love and unity of the spirit, is to be obedient and fruitful for the Lord. As we labor for the Lord, let us be careful to build on the foundation of Jesus Christ, with sound doctrine and true Christian character that stand the test. (1 Corinthians 3:9-17)   

The Crushing Stone: Rejection of the Messiah has dire consequences.  Those who oppose and reject the Savior, rebel against the authority of God over their lives, bring judgment on themselves. To them, Christ is - “A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.” They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed. (1 Peter 2:8). Beware! Divine judgment brings eternal punishment and separation from God.  

In His first coming, Christ came to save sinners, but His second coming He will gather His saints to Himself and judge the world. Jesus Christ extends mercy and forgiveness to us now, but very soon He will come again to judge the world. Let us be prudent to choose Him now and receive the gift of eternal life. 

Think about it:  

Now, therefore, you are … fellow citizens…..members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord….. for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. (Ephesians 2:19-22)

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