Matthew 21:42b: The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes. – NIV
In its definition of the word cornerstone, Unger’s Bible Dictionary describes the position of this stone sitting “at the corner of two walls and uniting them.” It proceeds to clarify: “…the cornerstone is a term equally applicable to the chief stone at the top and that in the foundation.”
Why might the builders reject the capstone? Don’t they need it for the foundation or crowning ornament of their project? It is necessary for most of the stones in a building to be very similar. But the cornerstone is different in shape and size than the majority of the stones in a building. Without an understanding of the architect’s plans, a builder might discard this stone as an oddity, one that doesn’t fit. The Scribes and Pharisees, though they functioned as the chief builders of God’s house in their generation, apparently didn’t understand His plans for the cornerstone. The cornerstone didn’t look like the other stones; its shape and size were perplexing. “When in doubt, throw it out,” must have been their motto. They had the Written Instructions, but the heart beat of the Great Architect escaped their notice. Thus they couldn’t comprehend the need for an extra-ordinary foundational Rock, created to shed his blood for all sin, uniting the wall of Judaism, with the wall of the Gentiles, in an incredible edifice to the glory of God.
How do often do we, like Pharisees, discard a person, a brother or sister in Christ, or even ourselves, as an oddity, the wrong shape, size or color, one who doesn’t fit well with the rest. Without a complete understanding of the Creator’s blueprint, the temptation to “throw it out” emerges. But, we all “like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house…” (1 Peter 2:5) You and I may not know the value of another stone in a certain position in the structure. “But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.” (1 Cor 12:18) Therefore, “the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor.” (1 Cor 12:23) Instead of rejecting those different than ourselves, or different than the popular norm, we must value them more highly. What a marvel He permits us to witness. Perhaps God would adorn His house and unite His peoples with beautiful ones such as these.