17 But he looked directly at them and said, “What then is this that is written: “‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone’? – Luke 20:17 

I used to work as a skilled laborer for a stone mason. It was physically exhausting but incredibly rewarding. Each job began the same way. We’d clear the job site and then dig, level, and lay the foundation footer. After the footer hardened, we’d lay the first block or stone. Any guesses on where we’d set the first stone? I’ll give you a hint, the answer is in the verse above. Do you see it? Every stone mason knows the first stone laid is always the cornerstone. Great time and care was taken to ensure it was set perfectly level, plumb, and square. The cornerstone was important because literally every stone laid thereafter was measured and set from it.

A well set cornerstone was the key to every structure we built. If the cornerstone was off, the team would be off, our measurements would be off, and ultimately, the structure would be off. I will never forget a job when the cornerstone was off, and literally a full day’s work had to be torn down and redone. Such is the consequence of not choosing the proper cornerstone and setting it well.

In the verse above, notice how it says, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.”  Have you ever stopped to consider how a rejected stone could become a cornerstone? There is only one possible explanation for how that could happen. It goes without saying, that stones don’t change. It either possesses the perfect qualities of a cornerstone or it doesn’t. If it was rejected and then accepted, the only explanation is that the evaluator’s assessment was off. Its rejection had nothing to do with the perfection of the stone, and had everything to do with the bias of the not-so-competent builder. Such is the case in this week’s text.

This week, Jesus tells His final parable. It’s a story that confronts the religious leaders’ rejection of Him and His authority. Jesus was perfect. He was the Messiah. He was the Creator of heaven and earth. From Him every aspect of creation can be set level, square, and plumb. I can’t wait to share with you how He is our perfect Cornerstone. May we measure and build our lives and church on Him.

Pastor Jerry Lingenfelter