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  • # 186 Trying to Crack Stone Hearts

    Jesus has the Pharisees' attention, They're angry. But knowing his death is a few days away, he speaks boldly, trying with everything he has to open the eyes and hearts of the leaders of his nation. This is for them.

    A few Pharisees were baptized by John, but for the most part, the leaders rejected that he had come from God.* (However, the tax collectors and prostitutes responded and received John's baptism.)

    "Listen to another parable," says Jesus, "A vineyard owner sends servants to collect his share of the harvest. But the tenants beat and kill messenger after messenger. The owner can't imagine that they would harm his son, so finally, sure they will reverence him, he sends him. Somehow the tenants reason that if they kill the heir, they will get the vineyard, so they kill him too."

    Then Jesus asks, "What do you think the owner of the vineyard will do when he comes?"

    Jesus is addressing everyone, but the Pharisees, drawn-in, answer, "He will destroy those terrible men and rent out his vineyard to responsible tenants!" They don't realize until too late that he is talking about them, and they have just condemned themselves. Unwittingly, hearts crack open.

    Now with tenderness Jesus faces them, "Haven't you read, 'The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone?' I know you have."**

    He is referring to a metaphor of Messiah that they know well; the cornerstone prophecy in Psalms and Isaiah that became an actual occurrence in the history of building Solomon's temple. Any honest heart had to get it.

    Matthew 21:33-46, Mark 12:1-12, Luke 20:9-19 *Luke 7:30 **Psalm 118:22-23, Isaiah 28:16

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