Verse: “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This came from the Lord and is wonderful in our eyes.” Mark 12:10
Jesus often spoke in parables. This is one way He chose to communicate to people. Some understood and continued to listen. Yet others rejected Jesus’ message and who He was.
Here is the context of this passage. Jesus is presumably in the Temple, where Jewish leaders were questioning Him. Chief priests, scribes, and elders were present. Vineyards with tenant farmers were very common in this time frame. This is why He probably chose to use this kind of analogy. Essentially a farmer would pay rent by giving a portion of their goods to the landowner. In Mark 12 Jesus references Isaiah 5: 1-7, where Isaiah described Israel as a vineyard- more specifically the judgment on Israel.
“The main elements in this parable are (1) The man who planted the vineyard- God, (2) The vineyard- Israel (3) The tenant farmers- the Jewish religious leaders, (4) The landowner’s servants- the prophets and priests who remained faithful to God and preached to Israel, (5) The son- Jesus, and (6) The others whom the vineyard was given- the Gentiles…Israel, pictured as a vineyard, was the nation that God had cultivated to bring salvation to the world. The religious leaders not only frustrated their nation’s purpose; they also killed those who were trying to fulfill it. They were so jealous and possessive that they ignored the welfare of the very people they were supposed to be bringing to God. By telling this story, Jesus exposed the religious leaders’ plot to kill Him, and He warned them that their sins would be punished.” Life Application New Testament Commentary
“The rejected son and rejected stone represent Jesus Christ. Builders typically rejected stones until they found one perfectly straight in lines that could serve as the cornerstone, which was critical to the symmetry and stability of the building. In Jesus’ metaphor He Himself is the stone the builders (the Jewish religious leaders) rejected (crucified). But the resurrected Christ is the cornerstone.” (John MacArthur Study Bible)
The parable tells us this. Jesus knew He was the Son of God. Furthermore, He foreknew the agony which would take place upon the Cross for our sins. Beyond Jesus there is nothing. He is the cornerstone which holds everything up. Jesus overcame death (1 Corinthians 15), a claim no other religion leader can make. Remember, His body has never been found.
Others have fallen short of this critical measure. Joseph Smith (Mormonism), Jr., Charles T. Russell (Jehovah’s Witnesses), Mary Baker Eddy (Christian Science), L. Ron Hubbard (Scientology), Muhammad (Islam), Siyyid Ali-Muhammad (Baha’i World Faith), A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (Hare Krishna), and Buddha (Buddhism), were all individuals who avowed a new way of achieving salvation. Yet each one failed. In the end they never conquered the grave like Jesus Christ did. Jesus is the true Cornerstone. He is the One through which eternal life is found. Beyond Jesus there is no one.
Additional Readings: Psalm 118: 22-23, Isaiah 5: 1-7, Acts 4: 10-12
Quote: “Nothing remains when Christ is refused. No one else can be sent; Heaven itself contains no further messenger. If Christ be rejected, hope is rejected.” Charles Spurgeon
Prayer: Father God be the Cornerstone in my life today. I surrender all of myself to You. I pray that I build my life upon only You. Live through me for others to see. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen