What does Matthew 21:44 mean?
ESV: And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.”
NIV: Anyone who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.'
NASB: And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and on whomever it falls, it will crush him.'
CSB: Whoever falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will shatter him."
NLT: Anyone who stumbles over that stone will be broken to pieces, and it will crush anyone it falls on. '
KJV: And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.
Verse Commentary:
Jesus has quoted from Psalm 118:22–23 and has applied it to Himself. He is the stone that the builders of Israel, her leaders, rejected. The Lord, however, has made Jesus the cornerstone of the house of God (Matthew 21:42–43).

Now Jesus references Isaiah 8:14–15. Those who do not accept Him as the cornerstone will be broken or crushed by it. Isaiah put it this way, "And he will become a sanctuary and a stone of offense and a rock of stumbling to both houses of Israel, a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And many shall stumble on it. They shall fall and be broken; they shall be snared and taken."

In other words, those who do not come to God by way of the cornerstone Jesus will be broken by the cornerstone Jesus (John 3:16–18). It is impossible to go around (John 14:6). All must go through Him to reach the Father or reject Him and be crushed (John 3:36).
Verse Context:
Matthew 21:33–46 begins with another vineyard-related parable from Jesus. This one involves tenants who refused to pay the owner His agreed upon share of the crops. Instead, they mistreated and killed the servants he sent and then killed the owner's son. Jesus compares Israel's religious leaders to these tenants, saying the kingdom of God will be taken from them. Jesus identifies Himself in a psalm about a stone rejected by the builders but chosen by the Lord to be the cornerstone. All who reject Him will fall on the cornerstone or have it fall on and crush them.
Chapter Summary:
Jesus fulfills a prophecy from Zechariah about the coming of the king to Jerusalem by riding in on a donkey. The people celebrate and praise Him as the Messiah. Jesus drives the marketers and moneychangers out of the temple and heals some people. He curses a fig tree and tells the disciples nothing will be impossible for them with faith. Jesus forces cowardly and hypocritical religious leaders to back down with a question about John the Baptist. He then exposes their fraudulent spirituality with two parables about vineyards. Jesus applies to Himself a psalm about a rejected stone being made the cornerstone by the Lord.
Chapter Context:
Matthew 21 finds Jesus arriving near Jerusalem after leaving Jericho in the previous chapter. His triumphal entry is accomplished riding a donkey, and to raucous praise, fulfilling a prophecy about the Messiah. Jesus cleanses the marketplace from the temple, heals, and presents lessons about faith and Israel's failed leadership. This leads into further conversations which Matthew compiles from Jesus' interactions with the Pharisees.
Book Summary:
The Gospel of Matthew clearly shows the influence of its writer's background, and his effort to reach a specific audience. Matthew was one of Jesus' twelve disciples, a Jewish man, and a former tax collector. This profession would have required literacy, and Matthew may have transcribed some of Jesus' words as they were spoken. This book is filled with references to the Old Testament, demonstrating to Israel that Jesus is the Promised One. Matthew also includes many references to coins, likely due to his former profession. Matthew records extensive accounts of Jesus' teaching, more than the other three Gospels.
Accessed 4/17/2024 8:46:39 PM
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