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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

THE STONE REJECTED

Psalm 118:22 The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. (NKJV - The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.)

The analogy here is to masonry building construction. In stone construction, especially with random size stones, the mason is constantly searching through the pile of stones to find the one suitable for a particular opening, one that will accent the stones next to it and make it aesthetically attractive. Can you imagine a large stone that doesn't seem to fit anywhere, that keeps being picked up, turned over and then tossed back into the pile? Finally, this stone is picked up by the mason responsible for installing the head stone. It is exactly the one that is needed as the head stone or cornerstone. The cornerstone is extremely significant. It is the most important stone inmasonry construction. It is from this stone that all measurements are taken and all angles are projected. From this stone, the plumb bob and the level assures vertical and horizontal accuracy. In this analogy, the stone rejected by the masons has become the chief cornerstone.

With very few exceptions, it is agreed that the head stone, or cornerstone, refers to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. As Jesus taught in the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews came to Him and questioned Him about His authority to do miracles and interpret the law. Jesus responded by showing them a parable depicting how they had rejected the preaching of John the Baptist (Matthew 21:28-32). This He followed with the parable of the Wicked Husbandmen. A summary of the parable goes something like this. A certain householder (property owner) planted a vineyard and hired husbandmen (farmers, or share- croppers), to tend it. The householder then went away to another country. When it was time for the fruit to be ripe, he sent servants to the husbandmen in order to receive the harvest. The servants were beaten and killed by the husbandmen. Other servants were sent. These were also killed. Finally, the householder sent his own son, thinking that they would have reverence for him. Instead, the husbandmen killed the son also. Finally the householder came himself. Jesus' question to the chief priests and the elders was, When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what shall he do unto those husbandmen? Their answer to Jesus question was, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their season (Matthew 21:33-41).

To further accent the rejection of the son, Jesus then quotes the lesson text to them. He said to them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, the stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner (Vs. 42)? And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard His parables, they perceived that He spake of them (Vs. 45). It was the chief priests, elders, and Pharisees that rejected Jesus Christ as the promised Messiah. Jesus told them, the kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof (Vs. 43).

Isaiah, in another prophecy, wrote about the rejection of the Messiah. He was despised and rejected of men; a Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed Him not (Isaiah 53:3). Why did they hide their faces from Jesus? Why did they despise Him and esteem Him not? It was because what Jesus offered them was not what they wanted. It is evident that they wanted an earthly king to inherit the throne of David. They wanted the pomp and pageantry associated with King David and with King Solomon. They wanted an earthly king that would lead them to victory in battles with their enemies. This, they could not find in the meek and gentle Jesus; therefore, He was rejected.

We find the mission of the Messiah established when the angel of God appeared to Joseph saying to him that Mary shall bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call His name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21). This is what was meant when Abraham was told by God that in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed. To most of the world today, Jesus is, and will continue to be, The Stone Rejected. This lesson admonishes us to accept Jesus as the corner stone of our lives. Although most of the world rejects Him, He will never reject those that accept Him as their Savior!