Verses 17-18 “17And he beheld them, and said, What is this then that is written, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner?
18Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.”
These two verses are the conclusion of the Parable of the Vineyard, a parable about how the Jewish people had failed God, had killed God’s Son, and had lost their favored position with God. Now we learn that Jesus is the cornerstone rejected (Psalm 118:22), but He is the Head and the Solid Rock upon which all of God’s work in this world is built. Some stumble over Christ, miss His plan and purpose altogether, and end up being judged by that same Solid Rock.
Verses 22-25 “22And he said unto the disciples, The days will come, when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and ye shall not see it.
23And they shall say to you, See here; or, see there: go not after them, nor follow them.
24For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day.
25But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation.
The coming of Christ in glory to establish His kingdom will be sudden. It will happen quickly, like a lightning bolt. But the disciples would all suffer for the cause of Christ before He returned. Most if not all of them, would be killed for the cause of the gospel. They would long for those peaceful days when they followed Jesus through the hills and valleys of Judea. There have been, and there will yet be, false christs. But Jesus said do not go after those christs. But first things first! Jesus said that first He would have to suffer. He would suffer in the Garden of Gethsemane. He would suffer in the trials after He was arrested. He would suffer when He was beaten. He would suffer on the cross. All of that suffering was for our sin. He paid our sin debt. And He suffered when He was rejected by His own people, the Jews. The word “generation” in verse 25 refers to the Jewish people.
Verses 31-35 “31And the Lord said, Whereunto then shall I liken the men of this generation? and to what are they like?
32They are like unto children sitting in the marketplace, and calling one to another, and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned to you, and ye have not wept.
33For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, He hath a devil.
34The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners!
35But wisdom is justified of all her children.”
When Jesus uses the word “generation” in this passage, He is referring to the Jewish people.Â But much of what He says about the Jews could also be said about people of all races today.Â He says that they were immature about spiritual things, “like unto children.”Â They were demanding, wanting things their own way.Â They were always dissatisfied, caring not for the ministry of John the Baptist (they didn’t like his food and drink) nor for the ministry of Jesus (though he ate and drank normally).Â John was too reclusive for their taste, and Jesus was too outgoing.Â Human nature has not changed!Â There is a multitude of people who reject God’s salvation and God’s messengers on mere excuses.
And yet, some are wise!Â They may be few, but what they produce proves their wisdom.Â They are serious about heaven, hell, and eternity.Â They are satisfied with Jesus.Â They have not rejected the gospel on mere pretexts.Â “Wisdom is justified of all her children.” May God multiply their number!