Summary: His name is…The stone. (Powerpoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email:


The Context:

• 2nd of 3 parables

• time of Confrontation

• issue of authority

The Name:

• the stone rejected

• the stone which crushes



Sleeping Beauty, Tom Thumb, and Quasimodo were all talking one day.

• Sleeping Beauty said,

• "I believe myself to be the most beautiful girl in the world."

• Tom Thumb said,

• "I must be the smallest person in the world."

• Quasimodo said,

• "I absolutely have to be the ugliest person in the world."

So they all decided to go to the Guinness Book of World Records to have their claims verified.

• Sleeping Beauty went in first and came out looking deliriously happy.

• "It's official, I AM the most beautiful girl in the world."

• Tom Thumb went next and emerged triumphant,

• "I am now officially the smallest person in the world."

• Sometime later, Quasimodo comes out looking utterly confused and says.

• "Who is Martin Fielder?” [Replace with some other person in the fellowship]

• Now that has nothing to do with my message;

• But I thought you might enjoy the story!

• When it comes to sleep have you ever considered how desperate Jacob must have been;

• In the Old Testament (Genesis chapter 28 verse 17)

• To choose a large stone, a rock for a pillow?

• A rock is hardly a comfortable place to sit on for a long time,

• Let alone to sleep on all night.

Note: there is a big difference between comfortable and comforting.

• A rock is a secure place on which to build.

• ill: Wise & foolish builders (Matthew chapter 7 verse 24).

• Unlike the house built on shifting sand,

• The house built on the rock withstood the ravages of rain and flood.

• ill: You remember David’s great Psalm (No 40);

• A rock is a safe place on which to stand;

• After one has been slipping and sliding about in quicksand.

• A large rock is secure, fixed, and unmovable.

• It represents constancy and permanence,

• something to which to grab hold of when everything else about us seems to be changing.

• ill: You all know the classic hymn ‘Rock of ages cleft for me”.

• Augustus Toplady discovered that a rock can be a shelter under which to take refuge.

• Augustus Toplady lived in England in the 1700’s.

• In 1776 he was walking through a gorge of Burrington Combe,

• A Mendip gorge close to Cheddar Gorge in England.

• When suddenly a terrifying storm swept down out of the sky.

• He was far away from the nearest village and he had no shelter,

• As he looked around for somewhere to hide,

• He saw a large rock ahead of him and thought that,

• If he leaned against it, he might escape some of the storms violence.

When he got to the rock he saw that it had been split open.

• And there was a crack into which he could fit

• He went in and was sheltered from the storm.

• While he was hiding inside the rock,

• He thought about God’s coming judgement;

• And of the fact that Jesus the Rock of Ages was broken by God;

• So that sinners like ourselves, might choose to hide in him and be safe.

• Struck by this thought,

• He found a playing card that had been lying at his feet and wrote this hymn on the card;

• “Rock of ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in thee”.

One of the names and tiles of Jesus Christ is the Rock, or the Stone:

• Our passage is Matthew chapter 21 verses 33 to 50;

• The parable of the Tenants/Vineyard.

• A parable that in many ways is self-explanatory.

• This parable appears in three of the gospels;

• (Matthew 21:33-46; Mark 12:1-12; Luke 20:9-19),

• With Matthew’s account being the fullest version.

Notice the context:

• This parable is the middle one of three stories that Jesus told;

• The first being ‘The parable of the two sons’.

• The third being ‘The parable of the wedding banquet’.

• Jesus spoke them as a result of being confronted by the religious leaders:

• Verse 21: Jesus goes to the temple courts to teach.

• Verse 23: The chief priest and elders confront Him,

• They want to know by what authority He is teaching.

• To the religious leaders Jesus is a self-imposed Rabbi;

• He has not trained in the religious leaders universities and schools.

• Therefore he does not fit the mould or say the right things.

• Notice that Jesus does not allow these religious leaders to control the conversation,

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