Sunday August 30, 2009 | Greg Boyd
He went on to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard, rented it to some farmers and went away for a long time. At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants so they would give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. He sent another servant, but that one also they beat and treated shamefully and sent away empty-handed. He sent still a third, and they wounded him and threw him out.
“Then the owner of the vineyard said, 'What shall I do? I will send my son, whom I love; perhaps they will respect him.'
“But when the tenants saw him, they talked the matter over. 'This is the heir,' they said. 'Let's kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.' So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.
“What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others."
When the people heard this, they said, “God forbid!"
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' [a]?
Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, but anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.”
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.
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?