February 26, 2020

Christ Alone, Cornerstone

Luke 20:1–18

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The Authority of Jesus Challenged

One day, as Jesus1 was teaching the people in the temple and preaching the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes with the elders came up and said to him, “Tell us by what authority you do these things, or who it is that gave you this authority.” He answered them, “I also will ask you a question. Now tell me, was the baptism of John from heaven or from man?” And they discussed it with one another, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘From man,’ all the people will stone us to death, for they are convinced that John was a prophet.” So they answered that they did not know where it came from. And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

The Parable of the Wicked Tenants

And he began to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard and let it out to tenants and went into another country for a long while. 10 When the time came, he sent a servant2 to the tenants, so that they would give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 11 And he sent another servant. But they also beat and treated him shamefully, and sent him away empty-handed. 12 And he sent yet a third. This one also they wounded and cast out. 13 Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him.’ 14 But when the tenants saw him, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir. Let us kill him, so that the inheritance may be ours.’ 15 And they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? 16 He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others.” When they heard this, they said, “Surely not!” 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’?3

18 Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.”


[1] 20:1 Greek he
[2] 20:10 Or bondservant; also verse 11
[3] 20:17 Greek the head of the corner

Christ Alone, Cornerstone

Key Verse | 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'?"

Bio | Celin Baird

My name is Celin Baird, and I have a new life in Christ. I was a "Dead (wo)Man Walking," but because of God's "Amazing Grace" and "Reckless Love," He "Rescue(d)" me, and my sins were nailed "At the Cross." "God Only Knows" how my life may have ended up if I did not "Come to the Altar." (You can find all of these songs on YouTube).

I'm married to my 1 Timothy 3:1-7 man, Chris. I have the pleasure of walking alongside him on this journey of life. You'll hear from him tomorrow!

Lastly, I cannot forget to mention our sweet daughter, Jade, whom we get to disciple.

Central Truth

With Jesus as our cornerstone and foundation, we are able to align our lives with Him.

Devotional | Luke 20:1–18

Before this passage, Jesus made His triumphal entrance, cleaned house, and began teaching in the temple. In Luke 20:1-16, we see the Jewish leaders questioning Christ's authority with the intent of trapping Him...

Before this passage, Jesus made His triumphal entrance, cleaned house, and began teaching in the temple. In Luke 20:1-16, we see the Jewish leaders questioning Christ's authority with the intent of trapping Him with their questions. Instead, Jesus turns the questioning on them and exposes their motives.

In Luke 20:17, we see the builders (Jewish leaders) reject the stone (Jesus), who is the cornerstone. Jesus quotes Psalm 118:22 in this verse to illustrate that their rejection of the Messiah was prophesied. A cornerstone is the first stone that is laid when constructing a masonry foundation. Also, the cornerstone is considered the most important stone in the building, as all other stones are laid in reference to it. While studying architecture in college, I learned that one of the most important components in a building is the foundation. If the foundation has not been carefully planned and engineered, the building will not stand strong.

In this text, Jesus is the indispensable stone that would become the Head of the Church. Isaiah 28:16 foretells the cornerstone and how God, the architect, lays down the cornerstone—the solid foundation for the new church.

My life before Christ was built on a weak and unstable sand foundation comprised of guilt and shame, fear, and low self-worth. Because the foundation of my heart was unsteady, the walls of my heart collapsed and suffered great damage when storms in my life came through. I was the foolish one whose house was built on sand (Matthew 7:26-27).

Through Christ's love, forgiveness, and grace, I have been able to find freedom, peace, and identity in Him. Psalm 40:2 states, "He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure." After accepting Christ and building my life on His Word, my foundation has been steady, solid, and unshakeable.

When we submit ourselves to Christ, our lives, outlook on life, and character change. Our old sinful ways are no longer part of us (2 Corinthians 5:17).

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Discussion Questions

1. Is Christ the foundation of your life?

2. If Christ is not the foundation of your life, then what is holding you back?

3. If Christ is the foundation of your life, then is He the focus of your life, or are you distracted with other things?

4. What is your "sand" comprised of, such as pride, fear, control, lack of trust? Join us at re:generation, Watermark's 12-step biblical recovery ministry to find hope in Christ, the Cornerstone.

12 Comments available

Tiffany Wilkins about 1 month ago

I was so excited when I opened The Journey this morning and saw your sweet face!!! Thank you for your continued faithfulness to the Lord and His people!

Lindsey Driscoll about 1 month ago

Celin, i really enjoyed what you wrote about the the cornerstone. I worked in construction before becoming a stay at home mom and I remember how important that first brick in masonry is, it sets the rest of the building in prefect order; exactly where the architect designed the building to be. Christ is to be our cornerstone, the foundation of our lives. It’s so interesting to see the Pharisees rejection all throughout Luke.

Michael Scaman about 1 month ago

Several times in Luke, Jesus brought up this Psalm, Psalm 118, with ‘Blessed if he who comes in the name of the Lord’ and ‘the stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone’ in the triumphal entry but earlier in Luke 13:35 as well

Michael Scaman about 1 month ago

Jesus vineyard story builds on Isaiah 5:7

“For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah are his pleasant planting; and he looked for justice, but behold, bloodshed; for righteousness, but behold, an outcry!”

greg jones about 1 month ago

“My life before Christ was built on a weak and unstable sand foundation comprised of guilt and shame, fear, and low self-worth.”

love that before/after Celine.

I talked myself out my first profession of faith walking home from a Easter egg hunt when I was 5…at 9 I…between I…finally at 11-12 after a lot thought-Everybody wanted a savior, nobody, or at least I, couldn’t want a Lord, didn’t know what I was getting. And I couldn’t fool God. I was stuck. Then thought-couldn’t want right then, but, I could trust right then and want later.

Trust now want later? I couldn’t talk myself out of trusting God.

I was a weird kid.

So me a church kid/goer I’ve got guilt, shame, fear low self worth buttons. I’ve got to remind myself those buttons aren’t connected to my foundation. All the time.

Ryan Middlekauff about 1 month ago

In just the few months I’ve began reading the Bible daily, attending ReGen and praying constantly I can feel my foundation starting to form. I still have a lot of work to do but I have more peace than I’ve ever had. He is real and the Love He has for us is undeserving as well as undeniable.

Paul Coppage about 1 month ago

Today’s JTJ is His powerful affirmation and resolute charge: As He laid down His life and died by His Father’s perfect design, so may I now align with Him for His glory and the fulfillment of His purposes. Mark 8: 34,35.

michael mcgowen about 1 month ago

Well I know what it’s like to feel rejected but you lord were doing miracles after miracles things no one has ever seen who could reject that, I mean it’s easy to say to someone like me nah no degree not a professional he doesn’t look the part but you lord, it’s hard to imagine people would hate someone doing miracles all day, every one who falls on you are broken to pieces and if you fall on them, they will be crushed, definitely I feel crushed and broken to pieces, you lord at least had it made in the shade, remember Jonah at the end he had a tree that shaded him but then it withered up it’s almost like a sign of the times, thank god for the new Jerusalem whoop whoop we love you word of god

Sam Denmark about 1 month ago

Love the imagery that is presented here in building our house of faith. The majority of my life my faith has been comprised of ‘sand’ (AKA pride, affirmation seeking, and lack of trust in God) that is just not good enough for God’s foundation. Praise God that he laid the foundation and that by his grace we find assurance (John 5:24 ; Ephesians 2:8-9).

Sue Bohlin about 1 month ago

Hi Celin! Thanks for your devo, sister!

I love how Jesus deftly flips the aggression of His unbelieving enemies like spiritual jiu-jitsu. His absolute brilliance just shines in this story! I love seeing evidence of His brilliance–this is the same unfathomable genius that created the DNA molecule and arranged layers of information on it that keeps blowing the minds of molecular biologists. It’s the same brilliance that so exquisitely fine-tuned the 816 parameters of the universe that the probability of it occurring by chance are now 1 in 10 to -1054 powers. That’s a crazy-small, impossible number . . . because Jesus is crazy-huge BRILLIANT!

Hope Harris about 1 month ago

GM JTJ Family,

Verses 17 and 18 are challenging me to pray differently for those on my prayer list who are gay identified and rejected their faith. In addition this morning I am adding a new group to my prayer list; Young People (12-18) I am encountering through work wrestling with their sexual orientation.

Hugh Stephenson about 1 month ago

Great and convicting devo Celin.

Is He my cornerstone and foundation?

Mostly but not 100%.

Friends ask me, “Why isn’t Jesus enough?”

I love the world too much, (1 John 2:15-17).

Is God’s grace sufficient for me? (2 Corinthians 12:9). If for Paul, why not for me?

I focus on the thorn and not the grace. I want Him to take away the snakes, (Numbers 21:6-9)

In discovering the gift of His Word, is “…the joy of the Lord [my] strength?”, (Nehemiah 8:10).

Only when I long to eat what the pigs are eating, (Luke 15:16).

What does it take to surrender?

For nothing else to work. When I embrace its all a mirage. When I have no other option. When I am at the end of the end. When I am, once again, sick and tired of being sick and tired.

Only then can I embrace Luke 9:23.

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