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Luke 20:17-19 meaning...

The Rejected Stone:

Verse 17 opens with Jesus' reference to a well-known scripture: "The stone which the builders rejected, the same was made the chief cornerstone." This scripture is drawn from Psalm 118:22, which reads, "The stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner." Jesus uses this passage to illustrate a spiritual truth—the unexpected transformation of something initially rejected into a position of utmost significance. In this context, Jesus is referring to Himself as the cornerstone—the central and foundational element of the faith.

  • A Choice with Consequences:

Verse 18 presents a powerful contrast between two potential outcomes: "Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, but it will crush whomever it falls on to dust." This metaphorical language highlights the significance of how individuals respond to the cornerstone, Jesus Christ. Those who stumble upon the stone and reject it will experience a form of spiritual brokenness. On the other hand, those who oppose the cornerstone will face a more severe consequence—the stone itself will crush them to dust. This speaks to the consequences of rejecting the central message of salvation and the profound importance of embracing Jesus.

  • A Message Against Spiritual Pride:

These verses convey a stern message against spiritual pride and arrogance. The religious leaders of the time, represented by the chief priests and scribes, are implicitly criticized through this metaphor. They, in essence, rejected the cornerstone—Jesus—due to their own preconceived notions and desire for power. The metaphor warns against the dangers of spiritual complacency and the consequences of resisting God's transformative message.

  • A Message of Authority:

In these verses, Jesus speaks with authority, asserting His unique role as the cornerstone and ultimate judge. The metaphor of the stone's potential to crush serves as a reminder of the sovereignty and power of Christ. It underscores His divine authority and the serious implications of rejecting His message.

  • The Impact on the Religious Leaders:

Verse 19 reveals the immediate impact of Jesus' words on the chief priests and scribes. They recognized that the parable was directed at them, and they sought to seize Jesus, but their fear of the people restrained them. This reaction underscores the tension between Jesus' teachings and the religious authorities of the time. It also highlights the depth of understanding among some that Jesus' words held significant implications for their own beliefs and actions.


As we reflect on Luke 20:17-19, we're confronted with the significance of our response to the cornerstone, Jesus Christ. These verses prompt us to examine our attitudes and beliefs, challenging us to ensure that we do not reject the transformative message He offers. They also serve as a cautionary tale against spiritual pride and the consequences of resisting God's truth.

Ultimately, these verses encourage us to embrace Jesus as the foundational cornerstone of our faith. Through this embrace, we can find restoration and wholeness rather than being broken or crushed. May these verses inspire us to approach our faith with humility, reverence, and a deep understanding of the central role Jesus plays in our spiritual journey.


Luke 20:17-19. “‘The stone which the builders rejected, the same was made the chief cornerstone?’ Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, but it will crush whomever it falls on to dust.” The chief priests and the scribes sought to lay hands on him that very hour, but they feared the people—for they knew he had spoken this parable against them.