Jesus' Offer to Religious Establishments: Broken or Ground to Power?

Wednesday, April 28, 2021 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Luke 20:17, Then He looked at them and said, “What then is this that is written: ‘The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone’? 18 Whoever falls on that stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.” 19 And the chief priests and the scribes that very hour sought to lay hands on Him, but they feared the people—for they knew He had spoken this parable against them.

Jesus had no respect for the religious establishment of his day. He did not respect people who used their authority, not to serve others, but to exercise control over others. Regardless of their original good intentions, the Pharisees had become a little more than a religious aristocracy.

Jesus came to liberate and redeem the Jewish people, which put Him in direct conflict with those who wanted to keep people under the bondage of their perverted form of Judaism. God's purpose for the old covenant was always to serve as a "schoolmaster" to lead people to Christ. (Galatians 3:24) The religious establishment had perpetrated a fraud of spiritual leadership and oversight. Jesus knew this. He intentionally spoke and worked to contradict and correct it.

It is interesting that every generation, including ours, has to deal with religious establishments and oligarchies. One feature of all of them is the rejection of Jesus as the "Chief Cornerstone," not in word, but in practice. These religious establishments speak more about themselves than about the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Scriptures (including New Testament letters) are not regarded as any more authoritative than the thoughts and words of the persons who form the religious establishment.

Jesus offered a startling solution citing the words of David, "The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone." (Psalm 118:22)

He said to them, and they knew it. ("F
or they knew He had spoken this parable against them."):
1) "Fall on the Stone and be broken." This is an invitation to repentance.
2) The Stone will fall on you and "Grind him to powder." This is the promise of judgment.

Jesus the Christ is the Stone that breaks or grinds. Being broken is the advantageous solution. Being ground to powder is the judgment.

... So we choose to fall on the Stone.