The cornerstone, the Rock
Mark 12:1-17 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
And He began to speak to them in parables: “A man planted a vineyard and put a wall around it, and dug a vat under the wine press and built a tower, and rented it
out to vine-growers and went on a journey. 2 At the harvest time he sent a slave to the vine-growers, in order to receive some of the produce of the vineyard from the vine-growers. 3 They took him, and beat
him and sent him away empty-handed. 4 Again he sent them another slave, and they wounded him in the head, and treated him shamefully. 5 And he sent another, and that one they killed; and so with many others, beating
some and killing others. 6 He had one more to send, a beloved son; he sent him last of all to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 7 But those vine-growers said to one another, ‘This
is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours!’ 8 They took him, and killed him and threw him out of the vineyard. 9 What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the vine-growers,
and will give the vineyard to others. 10 Have you not even read this Scripture: ‘The stone which the builders rejected,
This became the chief corner stone; 11 This came about from the Lord, And it is marvelous in our eyes’?”
12 And they were seeking to seize Him, and yet they feared the people, for they understood that He spoke the parable against them. And so they left Him and went away.
13 Then they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Him in order to trap Him in a statement. 14 They came and said to Him, “Teacher, we know that You are truthful and defer to no one; for You are not partial to any, but teach the way of God in truth. Is it lawful to pay a poll-tax to Caesar, or not? 15 Shall we pay or shall we not pay?” But He, knowing their hypocrisy, said to them, “Why are you testing Me? Bring Me a denarius to look at.” 16 They brought one. And He said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” And they said to Him, “Caesar’s.” 17 And Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they were amazed at Him.
In today’s text Jesus says: “ Have you not even read this Scripture: ‘The stone which the builders rejected, This became the chief corner stone; This came about from the Lord, And it is marvelous in our eyes’?” In Matthew 16:13-17, Jesus spoke of the fulfillment of this scripture. Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.” Upon the revelation, the knowledge of the truth that Jesus is the Christ, the Lord and Messiah the church is built and established. Jesus Himself is the chief cornerstone.
There are indeed many foundations that we can build human philosophies and religious doctrines on. But no other foundation offers the security and the promises of Christ and the cross. In John 14:6 Jesus says: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” In Matthew 7:18-27 Jesus says: “A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits. “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’ “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.”
Again, there are many foundations we can build upon in this life. The truth is though that according to what Jesus says there are basically three responses we can have to Jesus. There are some who will claim to be followers of Jesus, but still won’t know Him as Christ. They may call Him Lord and even do good works in His name, but because they choose to practice lawlessness, they choose to continue in sin rather than building on the rock of Christ. Jesus says their fall will be great. There are those who will simply reject Christ completely. They will choose another foundation upon which to build. These may build large and impressive structures. They may obtain and accumulate great wealth and possessions in this life. But as it says in Matthew 16:26: "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” Finally there are those who indeed build upon the rock of Christ, trusting wholly in Him and the redemption, reconciliation and restoration of the cross. They are those who call Him Lord and also do the will of the Father. In John 5:10-24, Jesus Himself said of all that He did: “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel. For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes. For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.”
Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ my Rock and sure foundation; precious Holy Spirit thank You for Your word which is truth and life. Thank You that as I build upon You, upon Jesus Christ and the cross, I have the assurance that nothing can shake or move my foundation now or forever. Amen.