The Teacher Tested
But He looked at them and said, “Then what is the meaning of this Scripture:
The stone that the builders rejected— this has become the cornerstone?
As we continue to follow the Last Days of Jesus during Passion Week, we come to Tuesday. Jesus had just cleansed the Temple – for the second time in His ministry. Needless to say this was a pretty dramatic event that captured people’s attention. It also upset the status quo of the religious leaders and I’m certain, made them feel threatened.
Instead of making His point in such dramatic fashion at the temple and then leaving, Jesus decides to settle in, make Himself at home and begin to teach. Much of Jesus’ teaching was in response to carefully crafted and thought out questions being directed to Him by leaders of the primary religious groups.
Upon entering the city Jesus knew what was coming. I mentioned on Monday with regard to The Triumphal Entry that this would knowingly set into motion the prophetic events that would lead to Jesus’ arrest, trials, beating, ridicule, crucifixion and ultimately His victorious resurrection. Previously in His ministry Jesus had told the Disciples to expect conflict. He said to them in Luke 9:22; "The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day.”
Jesus knew He was going to be rejected, because it had been prophesied of Him. Here in Luke 20:17 it says; Jesus looked directly at them and asked, “Then what is the meaning of this Scripture: The stone that the builders rejected— this has become the cornerstone? Jesus is quoting directly from Psalm 118:22, using the same word He used with His followers in Luke 9, “rejected”.
Here is why this is significant. The word translated "rejected" can also be used as “disallowed.” It carries the idea "to reject after investigation."
Back in Exodus 12:1-6, the LORD gave very specific instruction to Moses and Aaron about the very first Passover with regard to the Lamb. It was required that the Jews carefully examine the Passover lambs from the tenth day to the fourteenth day to make sure they had no blemishes. In other words they were to investigate and reject, or disallow, any lamb that did not meet the standard after careful investigation.
As Jesus began His public ministry, we read in John 1:29; John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Here is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!"
So, here is Jesus, being tested, questioned by the religious leaders of His time and rejected. People do the same with Jesus today. With all the evidence available, people still choose to reject Him.
Remember as you go about sharing His love with others through your own story of hope, that you and I are not responsible for the conversion of others, only the conversation. Be prayerful and be bold to share the hope that is in you through the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. He has been tested and He has been found to be true.
“For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son,
so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.
For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world,
but that the world might be saved through Him. Anyone who believes in Him is not
condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned,
because he has not believed in the name of the One and Only Son of God."
JESUS as quoted in John 3:16-18 (HCSB)