Study Guide: The Stone The Builders Rejected

Sunday August 30, 2009 | Greg Boyd

Focus Scripture:

Brief Summary:

By telling a parable Jesus prophesied that he would be rejected and killed. Nevertheless, he also claimed he would be the cornerstone for the coming Kingdom of God. This was shocking to his followers and enraged the religious leaders of the time.

Extended Summary:

Jesus told a parable about a landowner who rented his property to some farmers while he was away. The owner sent servants to collect what was owed to the owner but the farmers abused them and sent them away. Finally the owner sent his own son, but the farmers killed him. As Greg pointed out, the connection would have been clear to the audience, the landowner is God, the farmers are the people of Israel and the servants are the prophets that God sent to Israel. The son, of course, is Jesus.

The audience reacted strongly against the parable but Jesus asked them to consider Psalm 118:22 which says: “The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.” And then Jesus said: “Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, and it will crush anyone on whom it falls.”

Jesus was referring to the way that he would be rejected but nevertheless, he would be the cornerstone for the coming Kingdom of God. Greg challenged us to consider the question: What does it mean for us to make the stone that the builders rejected the foundation for our lives?

Reflection Questions:

  1. What stood out to you most from this message and the supporting texts?
  2. What are some of the foundations—other than Jesus—that we tend to build our lives on? Greg listed some, but there are surely others. Brainstorm a list.
  3. What does it mean to have Jesus as your foundation/cornerstone rather than these things we just listed? What difference does it make? Answer this in terms of how things change over time.
  4. Is Jesus the cornerstone of your life? What other things might be competing for that role?