26 Mar Rejected Yet Precious
Rejected Yet Precious
Verses to read: <Mt 21:33-46>
33 “Listen to another parable: There was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a winepress in it and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and moved to another place.
34 When the harvest time approached, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his fruit.
35 “The tenants seized his servants; they beat one, killed another, and stoned a third.
36 Then he sent other servants to them, more than the first time, and the tenants treated them the same way.
37 Last of all, he sent his son to them. ‘They will respect my son,’ he said.
38 “But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him and take his inheritance.’
39 So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.
40 “Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?”
41 “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.”
42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures:
“‘The stone the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
the Lord has done this,
and it is marvelous in our eyes’?
43 “Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.
44 Anyone who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.”
45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus’ parables, they knew he was talking about them.
46 They looked for a way to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowd because the people held that he was a prophet.
1. The landowner = God.
1) Prepares everything nicely for us.
- Given us the gospel, the Bible, testimonies of others, prayer answers etc.
- Our God-given conditions are to be used to work for God’s vineyard (Kingdom).
- God doesn’t demand us to do great things, but only be fully devoted to Him.
2) God is most patient and merciful.
2. The tenants = Chief priests and Pharisees <v45>.
1) Strong and insatiable desires.
2) Utter contempt for the owner (God).
- We cannot split our hearts; if we value another master, we will naturally despise God <cf. Mt 6:24>.
- Today, many people are also treating God with contempt, by seeking their own pleasure, pride and purpose rather than God’s:
- Non-believers / World.
- “Believers” / Within the Church.
3) Their sin and carnal desires cloud their sensibility.
3. Jesus – The rejected stone which became most important.
1) Human rejection cannot thwart God’s purpose.
- Rejection of Jesus à Crucifixion
- Resurrection of Jesus à Cornerstone
- Jesus’ death demonstrates to the highest degree:
- Obedience to God
- Love for men
- Human choices; human belief/disbelief do not have the final say.
- [Standalone slide] “For you will certainly carry out God’s purpose, however you act, but it makes a difference to you whether you serve like Judas or like John.” – CS Lewis
2) Those who reject the Son will face consequences <v44>.
3) Jesus is the cornerstone which joins things together <Ep 2:20-22>.
- Joins sinners to God.
Join fellow believers together – Not “competitors”, but “comrades” in Christ.
4. How about us?
1) Cherish Jesus.
- <1 Pe 2:7> “Now to you who believe, this stone is precious.”
- <1 Pe 2:6> “The one who trusts in him will never be put to shame”
- <1 Pe 2:2> “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation.”
- When our heart cherishes Christ, it will then shape the way we live and act:
- <1 Pe 2:1> “rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind”.
2) Proclaim Christ’s gospel.
- <1 Pe 2> 9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.