"THE REJECTED STONE"
Intro. On Sunday Jesus made His triumphant entry into Jerusalem as He presented Himself to the nation as their Messiah. He now returned on Monday, and again cast out those who were buying and selling, He overturned the tables of the money changers. The little children were saying to Him, "Hosanna to the Son of David." which greatly upset the chief priests and scribes. Jesus reminded them of the scriptures which said, "Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings you have perfected praise." As He returned to the Temple on the next day He was met by the chief priests and rulers of the people who demanded Him to tell them who authorized Him to do the things He did. Jesus refused to tell them, but gave to them two parables concerning vineyards, which were a type of Israel.
I. The parable of the householder who planted a vineyard.
A. This parable begins so closely to the parable of the vineyard in Isaiah 5
, that they could not help but make the connection.
1. The nation of Israel was God's vineyard.
2. God's only desire was to gather good fruit from His vineyard.
a. In Isaiah 5
the vineyard after all the careful preparation and care only brought forth wild grapes.
b. In the parable that Jesus gives, the men who were responsible to watch over the vineyard for the master, took the fruit of the vineyard for themselves.
c. The concessions that were set up in the Temple to sell certified sacrifices, and the booths of the money changers were owned by the family of the high priest. They were price gouging.
B. At the time that the vineyard should be bringing forth fruit the master sent his servants to the husbandmen that he might receive the fruit from his vineyard.
1. The servants were the prophets that the Lord had sent to the nation of Israel.
2. But the prophets were stoned, imprisoned, beaten and killed. Stephen in Acts 7
in his defense before the counsel of the elders asked, "Which of the prophets were not persecuted?"
C. The master last of all sent his son, saying that they would surely respect his son.
1. The husbandmen said, "Here comes his son, let us kill him then the vineyard will be all ours."
2. So they caught him, cast him out of the vineyard and killed him.
D. Jesus then asked what shall the lord of the vineyard do to those husbandmen when he comes?
1. They answered, "He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and put other men in charge that will render him the fruit."
2. In this they were judging their own selves without even knowing it.
3. Jesus said have you never read in the scriptures, the stone which was rejected by the builders became the head stone of the corner?
II. The rejected stone. When Jesus asked them if they had never read in the scriptures concerning the stone rejected by the builders, He of course was referring to Psalm 118:22
A. There are many references to God as a Rock or Stone in the Old Testament.
1. Exodus there was the rock that was smitten by Moses that brought forth water of life to the people. Paul tells us that Rock was Christ.
[He is] the Rock, his work [is] perfect: for all his ways [are] judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right [is] he.
He made him ride on the high places of the earth, that he might eat the increase of the fields; and he made him to suck honey out of the rock, and oil out of the flinty rock;
But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered [with fatness]; then he forsook God [which] made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation.
Of the Rock [that] begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee.
How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, except their Rock had sold them, and the LORD had shut them up?
For their rock [is] not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves [being] judges.
And he shall say, Where [are] their gods, [their] rock in whom they trusted,
And he said, The LORD [is] my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer;
The God of my rock; in Him will I trust: [He is] my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence.
For who [is] God, save the LORD? and who [is] a rock, save our God?
The LORD liveth; and blessed [be] my rock; and exalted be the God of the rock of my salvation.
The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men [must be] just, ruling in the fear of God.
The LORD [is] my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, [and] my high tower.
For who [is] God save the LORD? or who [is] a rock save our God?
The LORD liveth; and blessed [be] my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted.
3. If you just stop to think for a moment you can think of many others, "When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the Rock that is higher than I." "He lifted me out of the miry clay and set my feet upon a Rock."
4. Daniel speaks of the stone that is not cut with hands that smites the great image that represents the governments of man, and sets up His everlasting kingdom.
B. Jesus is pointing out to them that the prophecy of David concerning the stone that was rejected by the builders, was being fulfilled. by them in their rejection of Him as their Messiah.
C. They are the wicked husbandmen who have failed to bring forth the fruit, who have plotted to kill the Master's Son in order to take the fruit for themselves.
D. They will be cast out, and the job of bringing forth fruit will be given to others, namely the church.
1. We exist to bring forth for our Lord.
2. The Scripture speaks of us offering the sacrifice of praise, even the fruit of our lips.
3. Paul declared, "Now the fruit of the Spirit is love."
4. We exist to love and praise our glorious God and Savior, if we fail to bring forth the fruit He is seeking He will then choose others.
5. A couple of days earlier, when Jesus was making His entry into Jerusalem amid the shouts of praise from His disciples, these same elders and priests were saying to Him to stop the blasphemies of His disciples, Jesus responded, "If they should hold their peace, the very stones would cry out."
6. God will be praised by His creation, if not animate, then by inanimate.
7. As the Lord has come to His vineyard this morning, may He find the fruit He is seeking. May He find us loving Him and expressing that love in our praises.