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c) The Parable about the Stumbling Block
(Matthew 21:42-46)
42Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?43“Therefore I say to you, the Kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it.44And whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.”45Now when the chief priests and Pharisees heard His parables, they perceived that He was speaking of them.46But when they sought to lay hands on Him, they feared the multitudes, because they took Him for a prophet. (Acts4:11,1Peter2:4-8)

After relating parable about the vineyard and the wicked vinedressers, Jesus deepened his call for the repentance of the leaders through the parable about the stumbling block. This stumbling block has three different meanings: It is the holding foundation, the hard corner, and the last stone at the top of the arch, which holds all of the other stones together. Sometimes a builder rejects a stone repeatedly, only to discover later that it was vital to the stability of the entire building.
Similarly, the elders of the people continued to reject Christ. But He was indeed the foundation of the New Testament, the crown in the temple of God that holds all the living stones together with his power.
Whoever refuses to be a living stone in the temple of the New Testament, will stumble over Christ. In the course of history, many have stumbled at Christ and have fallen. They were broken and crashed. Every civilization that does not accept Christ will be crushed by Him. Jesus is also the judgment stone, which falls suddenly from a housetop upon those who are unaware.
Jesus threatened to withdraw the promised kingdom of God from the Jews and give it to the Gentiles. When the leaders of the people heard this threat, they became furious and tried to arrest Him. However, the people protected Him, for they felt the power of His love and prepared themselves for repentance and belief.
The chief priests and Pharisees perceived that he spoke of them and that they said (v. 41) they had read their own judgment. A guilty conscience needs no accuser, and sometimes will save a minister the labor of saying, “You are the man.” A Latin proverb says, “change but the name, the tale is told of you.” The Word of God is a quick and powerful discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). Because of this, it is easy for a sinner whose conscience is not totally seared to think that it speaks of himself.

Heavenly Father, forgive us our disobedience and continuous rebellion, for we were born of a wicked generation, and do not offer You the fruit of Your pure love. Overcome and change us that we may keep away from hatred and resentment, and be filled with the Spirit of Your love to serve You with continuous joy, that we will not be condemned by refusing Your love, nor crushed by the unexpected time of Your return.
What insights or applications did you gain from the parable of the cornerstone?