Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Cornerstone

Luke 20:17 But he looked directly at them and said, "What then is this that is written: "'The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone'? 18 Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him."

17 ὁ δὲ ἐμβλέψας αὐτοῖς εἶπεν· τί οὖν ἐστιν τὸ γεγραμμένον τοῦτο· λίθον ὃν ἀπεδοκίμασαν οἱ οἰκοδομοῦντες, οὗτος ἐγενήθη εἰς κεφαλὴν γωνίας; 18  πᾶς ὁ πεσὼν ἐπ᾽ ἐκεῖνον τὸν λίθον συνθλασθήσεται· ἐφ᾽ ὃν δ᾽ ἂν πέσῃ, λικμήσει αὐτόν.

Continuing our theme of stones from yesterday here we see Jesus quoting Scripture to confound the Jewish leaders. Here he quotes Psalm 118:22, as Peter would later. This is a damning quote to them. He is explaining to them that He is the one that they've been looking for, but they have rejected Him. They thought that they were the leaders, but really He is telling them that they are leading their people to hell.  Obviously, this did not go over well.

When I read passages like this I can't help but wonder how the "Jesus meek and mild" stereotype got propagated so far. Clearly Jesus is not a hippie in a pink dress as He is often portrayed. He was a carpenter and worked with His hands for a living. He probably looked more like this than an emaciated hippie. Physical attributes notwithstanding, He also was not as mild as He is often portrayed.

Let's look at the imagery in His exposition of this verse. What will happen to those who do not follow Him? They will be crushed to pieces. Think of pulverized gravel. Think of the rock crusher in Temple of Doom. That's what's going to happen to those who do not follow Him.

This flies in the face of the happy hippie inclusivist Jesus.  "Turn or burn" is a bit cliche. Let's say "turn or be crushed" instead.

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