Summary: Some of world’s greatest discoveries were initially rejected. We can reject the very thing that would be the best help for us - make the biggest difference - but we convince ourselves we do not need it. What about Jesus?
Why Should I Follow Jesus?
Some of world’s greatest discoveries were initially rejected.
“This is typical Berlin hot air. The product is worthless.” Rejection letter sent to Felix Hoffmann who invented aspirin. Heinrich Dreser was standing by his ‘star’ painkiller - a drug that made factory workers feel animated and ‘heroic’. Thus his company, Bayer Pharmacological Institute, named it ‘heroin’. Later on, due to its ‘funny’ side effects, it was decided to take heroin off the market. Bayer’s chairman eventually accepted aspirin as Bayer’s main painkiller. More than 10 billion tablets of aspirin are swallowed annually.
It’s true that we can reject the very thing that would be the best help for us - make the biggest difference - but we convince ourselves we do not need it. That happens in our text for today. It’s not a great invention or a scientific discovery - but the very plan of God to save the world. The question of the day is Why Should I Follow Jesus? This reality-check question is answered in a parable that is a bit shocking - and is followed up with the truth that Jesus was sent, but rejected!
Mark 12:10-11 The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This came about from the Lord and is wonderful in our eyes?”
1. I Should Follow Jesus Because He is Cornerstone of Life
The cornerstone is the first set in a masonry foundation. All other stones will be set in relation to this stone. Jesus is the beginning of my spiritual life and hope, and everything about my life is set in place in relation to Him.
The cornerstone was usually one of the largest, most solid, and most flawlessly constructed of any of the stones of a structure. The Risen Jesus is the most influential and important part of the journey of my life. He is flawless, perfect, powerful.
The cornerstone in a structure is crucial to its stability. The grace and forgiveness of Jesus give me stability. I could never be saved on the accuracy of my religious practice or personal goodness.
The cornerstone bears the weight of the structure. I lay all of my sins / troubles on Jesus’ strength. In His perfection and strength I can rest assured.
The cornerstone is part of the foundation of a structure. The foundation of my life is the teaching of Jesus. What is right, good, moral, certain - Jesus clarifies.
The cornerstone cannot be rejected and the structure be stable, strong, foundational. What is it good for then? When rejected, Jesus becomes a stumbling stone. He is either of immense support and strength, or an object that causes me to lose balance and hope.
2. I Should Follow Jesus Because He Demonstrates God’s Love and Patience. (Mark 12:1-7)
Mark 12:1-7 CSB He began to speak to them in parables: “A man planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug out a pit for a winepress, and built a watchtower. Then he leased it to tenant farmers and went away. 2 At harvest time he sent a servant to the farmers to collect some of the fruit of the vineyard from them. 3 But they took him, beat him, and sent him away empty-handed. 4 Again he sent another servant to them, and they hit him on the head and treated him shamefully. 5 Then he sent another, and they killed that one. He also sent many others; some they beat, and others they killed. 6 He still had one to send, a beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 7 But those tenant farmers said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’
This parable recalls the history of God’s dealings w/Israel. (Barclay)
His Generosity - vineyard equipped with everything it needed to make it beautiful and profitable.
His Trust - he put the vineyard into the hands of His people, to cultivate a wonderful vineyard.
His patience. Many times he gave them a chance to pay the debt they owed. They rejected the prophets who came over and over to tell of God’s love and His desire to save them.
His justice - “God may bear long with disobedience and rebellion but in the end he acts.” (Barclay)
Jesus is aware that He is the son. (Mark 12:8-9)
Mark 12:8-9 So they seized him, killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard. 9 What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and kill the farmers and give the vineyard to others.
Sent to save God’s people after generations rejection. He knew he was going to die. He knew of his ultimate triumph - that “after the rejection would come the glory.” (Barclay) The very One He sent to love and save them, became for them an opportunity to trip, to fall down, to miss the Cornerstone as foundation and to experience Him as stumbling stone.