Jesus Christ – the Cornerstone of faith

This is an article based on the sermon that our senior pastor, Vasile Filat, preached at the church one Sunday. I really enjoyed the message and received a lot of insight on the subject as well as had my faith strengthened and challenged. I would like to share it with you. The main passage is Mark 11:20-12:17 with the emphasis being on verses 10 and 11 in chapter 12. Here is the main text and then I will add the context after this.

And have you not read this scripture “The Stone which the builders rejected has become the Head of the corner: this was from the Lord, and it is marvelous in our eyes”? (Mark 12:10-11)

In order to understand what Jesus had in mind when He spoke this, we need to see the context.

 And passing on early, they saw the fig-tree dried up from the roots. And Peter, remembering, said to Him, Rabbi, behold, the fig tree which You cursed has withered away. And answering Jesus said to them, Have faith of God. For truly I say to you that whoever shall say to this mountain, Be moved and be cast into the sea, and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that what he said shall occur, he shall have whatever he said. Therefore I say to you, All things, whatever you ask, praying, believe that you shall receive them, and it will be to you. And when you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive it so that also your Father in Heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in Heaven forgive your trespasses. And they came again to Jerusalem. And as He was walking in the temple, the chief priests and the scribes and the elders came to Him and said to Him, By what authority do you do these things? And who gave you this authority to do these things? And Jesus answered and said to them, I will also ask of you one thing, and answer Me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. The baptism of John, was it from Heaven, or from men? Answer Me. And they reasoned within themselves, saying, If we shall say, From Heaven, he will say, Why then did you not believe him? But if we shall say, From men, they feared the people, for all held John to be a prophet indeed. And they answered and said to Jesus, We cannot tell. And answering Jesus said to them, Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things. And He began to speak to them by parables. A man planted a vineyard, and set a fence about it, and dug a wine-vat, and built a tower, and he let it out to vinedressers, and went away. And at the season he sent a servant to the vinedressers, so that he might receive from the vinedressers the fruit of the vineyard. And taking him, they beat him and sent him away empty. And again he sent to them another servant. And stoning that one, they struck him in the head, and sent him away, insulting him. And again he sent another. And they killed him, and many others, beating some and killing some. Therefore, still having one son, his own beloved, he also sent him to them last of all, saying, They will respect my son. But those vinedressers said among themselves, This is the heir! Come, let us kill him and the inheritance shall be ours. And they took him and killed him and cast him out of the vineyard. Therefore what will the lord of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the vinedressers and will give the vineyard to others. And have you not read this scripture “The Stone which the builders rejected has become the Head of the corner: this was from the Lord, and it is marvelous in our eyes”? And they sought to seize him, but feared the crowd. For they knew that He spoke the parable against them. And leaving Him, they went away. And they sent certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians to Him, to catch Him in His words. And coming, they said to Him, Teacher, we know that you are true and you care about no one. For you do not look to the face of men, but teach the way of God in truth. Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not? Shall we give, or shall we not give? But knowing their hypocrisy, He said to them, Why do you tempt Me? Bring me a denarius so that I may see. And they brought it. And He said to them, Whose image and inscription is this? And they said to Him, Caesar’s. And answering Jesus said to them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marveled at Him. (Mark 11:20-12:17)

  •  You have a certain season to respond
  • If you do not respond then you never will
  • You will waste your life and it will be fruitless, useful to no one
  • The audience had chance after chance to understand and believe God’s message
  • They were stubborn and proud.
  • They could not humble themselves to see the error of their ways.
  • They were disobedient and they came from a disobedient people (like all people)
  • They may marvel at the teaching but they will not accept It.
  • They have impure motives in doing what they do.

How do the builders reject the cornerstone?

They do this when they do not respect Jesus’ authority. Tradition teaches that during the building of the Temple, the stones were cut and hammered away from the site of the Temple. They were measured and fitted perfectly so that when the stones were brought to the Temple sight, there was no need for mortar. They fit together perfectly. If a stone were not perfect, it was cast down the hill into the valley and left there. The image that Jesus paints is the fact that the master builders, who know and understand the importance of the cornerstone, rejected it, throwing it away and tried to build around it. It is like trying to build a house without a foundation. The cornerstone was the most vital piece to the entire structure. Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of our faith and without Him, faith is useless. These religious people were trying to get to God without the key piece of the puzzle, Jesus Christ. It is impossible. If you reject the authority of Jesus Christ in your life then you can never get to God.

 How do the builders reject the cornerstone?

They would not listen to God’s message. They closed off their ears or if the messenger were too persistent then they just put him to death so that they could avoid hearing the message and pretend that everything was okay between them and God. Are you like this? Do you avoid the Lord’s message and those who want to share that message with you? Our society is trying to do that by banning any reference to God from all public aspects of life. We are no different than the people of Jesus’ day or of the days of the mighty prophets.

How do the builders reject the cornerstone?

They do not accept reality. Once Jesus told them what the master of the vineyard was going to do to them, they claimed that it would not and could not happen. People do the same today. They claim that God is too much of a loving God to send someone to hell. They claim that there is no such thing as eternal punishment. You can live however you want and God will understand. Have you ever heard any of these arguments? Have you ever used any of them?

How do the builders reject the cornerstone?

They do not change their wicked ways even when they have been shown just how wrong they are. Those who understood the message were quite upset by it because Jesus was talking about them, showing them who they were and they did not like it. Instead of admitting their sin, confessing, and repenting, they tried to trip Jesus up so that they could calm their conscious by saying, “see, He misspoke so we cannot trust the other stuff that He said earlier (about us)”. They failed in both aspects. They could not trip Him up or calm their conscious. They were embarrassed by Him.

What about you, what have you done with the Cornerstone that was rejected by the builders? Do you recognize His authority in your life? Do you hear and obey His message? Do you accept reality as it is? Have you admitted your sin and guilt, confessed your sins and repented of them or do you try to justify your actions some how? These are all serious questions that must be dealt with honestly, sincerely.

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One comment on “Jesus Christ – the Cornerstone of faith

  1. Pingback: The Cornerstone « Inspirations

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