Capstone – Matthew 21

            A Parade! Who doesn’t love a parade? All the colors, the floats, the bands, the celebrities, what’s not to love? Children especially are excited about them. It was no different in Jesus’ time, and this entire parade was about Him. “Hosanna! To the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna! In the highest!” (Matthew 21:9 NIV) And then He reached the temple.

            The chief priests and Pharisees were not part of the parade. They stood back with disgusted looks on their faces, with arms folded. They questioned Jesus. They didn’t believe He was who the crowds were yelling. He was no Son of David, no Messiah, in their eyes. So, Jesus told them two parables, which angered them even more.

            In the first parable, a father went to his two sons and asked them to go out and work in his vineyard. The first refused, but later changed his mind and went. The second said he would and then didn’t. “Which of the two did what his father wanted?” Jesus asked them. (Matthew 21:31 NIV) They responded that the first had. “I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.” (vs 31-32 NIV) God had called all to repent, but the religious leaders were like the second son who originally said they’d obey, but then didn’t. While the tax collectors and prostitutes, the sinners, who at first refused, were the ones who repented and obeyed.

            The second parable is about a landowner who planted a vineyard, walled it in, put in a winepress, built a watchtower, and then rented the whole thing out, and went on a trip. At harvest time he sent some servants to collect the rent. The tenants saw them coming and went out and beat them up, even killing some. So the landlord sent a second group, with more servants. The tenants did the same thing. A third time the landlord sent his son, thinking the tenants would respect his son. But they killed him thinking they’d take his inheritance. Jesus asked them what the landowner would do when he comes. “’He will bring those wretches to a wretched end’ they replied, ‘and he will rent the vineyard to other tenants who will give him his share of the crop at harvest time.’” (vs 41 NIV) Jesus responded, “Have you never read in the Scriptures, ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes.’? Therefore, I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that will produce its fruit. He who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed.” (vs 42-44 NIV)

            There are several songs about the Cornerstone in recent years. I have a couple that I really like. The first is by Leon Patillo:

            I lay in Zion, for a foundation, a stone

            I lay in Zion, for a foundation, a stone

            A tried stone, a precious cornerstone

            A sure foundation, a sure foundation

            A tried stone, a precious cornerstone

            He that believeth shall, shall not make haste.

The second is from Hillsong Worship. The chorus is:

            Christ alone, Cornerstone

            Weak made strong in the Savior’s love

            Through the storm, He is Lord

            Lord of all.

What are you going to do with Jesus? Praise Him, shouting “Hosanna!” Or condemn Him, yelling, “Crucify!”? The choice is up to you.


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