Verses 33-46 “33Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country:
34And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it.
35And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another.
36Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise.
37But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son.
38But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance.
39And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him.
40When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen?
41They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons.
42Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?
43Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.
44And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.
45And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them.
46But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet.”
In a single parable, Jesus recounts Israel’s entire history. Like the householder who “planted,” “hedged.” “digged,” and “built,” God gave Israel all she needed to be successful as His chosen nation. He gave her the patriarchs, the prophets, the miracles, and the relationship with Himself. But Israel abused God’s judges, killed some of God’s holy men, and despised God’s prophets. And when “last of all he sent unto them His Son,” they rejected Him, denied His ownership, and killed Him. God is now judging national Israel. He has set her aside temporarily while He is taking a people for His own from among the Gentiles (the church). Israel presently is “broken off” (Rom. 11:17), and the Gentiles have been “grafted in” (Rom. 11:19). We must emphasize that Israel is TEMPORARILY broken off, and will be grafted back in when Jesus comes (Rom. 11:24).
Jesus referred to a story that the old Jews had always told about the building of Solomon’s Temple. The story says that a large stone was cut out and shaped in the quarry, but when the stone arrived at the temple site it did not fit where the builders thought that it should be placed. The stone was rejected, cast away, and rolled down a hill. Later, it was discovered that the stone should have been placed as the cornerstone of the building. With this story Jesus shows that He is the Cornerstone who has been rejected, but he is rolling down the mountain (coming again!), to crush his enemies and to judge those who continue to reject Him. Israel is being judged today for her sin and Christ rejection. She has been judged through the last 2000 years, and will be judged in the Great Tribulation.
The Cornerstone is more than a crushing stone of judgment, coming to grind God’s enemies to powder. He is also the stone of stumbling. So many stumble on this Stone! The Jews stumble on this Stone. But many others do as well. Do not stumble on Christ, dear reader. He is Who the Bible says that He is. Believe on Him. Trust in Him as your only Savior from sin. The Bible says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).