Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Richard high-fives Tony and cheers resound from across the room. Another deal is done, another feather in their caps. Hi-Vision Co’s southern sales division have again achieved another record-breaking year. Popularly called “The Duo”, Richard and Tony, are now known as the company’s highest achievers in its 30-year history.

As Richard sits grinning at his office desk, the phone rings. On the other line, Chris Lang congratulates him for a job well done. As the CEO and the owner of the company, Chris keeps tabs on everything that is going on in all divisions even though he often goes abroad for a long period of time.

“I am in China and I heard of the news. Tomorrow night, bring your whole division to a nice fancy restaurant. My treat,” Chris speaks with a sense of pride.

“Oh.. Okay, Thank you, Mr. Lang!” Richard answers.

“I am coming back to join in the celebration,” the CEO announces.

“Okay. Er..That’s great!” Richard replies with a startled tone. Due to his success, the other three sales divisions hail him as “Our Director”, directing the vision of the company. And it seems Mr. Lang’s coming back may take away some glory from him.

“Mr. Lang, I have little news I need to brief you,” the top sales executive tells the CEO. “Few days ago, Ray and Cindy where you brought in to oversee all the sales divisions have resigned.”

“I know. They called me,” Chris answers quickly.

“Oh…,” Richard clears his throat. His confidence wavers a bit. “I told them to stay but they insisted on going,” he adds.

“Is there anything else going on that I need to know, Richard?” Chris Lang enquires.

“Oh, I nearly forgot. Your son, Jonathan also intended to leave the company and I told him no,” Richard informs his Boss. “I bet he would have called you too,” he continues, rushing to get this off his chest.

“Yes. He did call me. He said he was threatened but I laughed it off,” the Boss speaks calmly. “Anyway, he is so stressed that I asked him to take a long leave,” he adds, sounds a little bit disappointed.

“Is that so? I am sorry for him,” Richard offers his sympathy.

“Okay then. I see you tomorrow night,” the CEO bids goodbye and ends the conversation.

At the restaurant….

Before Chris Lang walks in, he can hear shouts of joy and clinking of glasses in the room. To his surprise he sees groups of people from the other sales divisions joining in the celebration. “To our Director!” they shout in unison, laughing out loud. One man yells, “I propose a toast to ‘The Duo’, not only for their astounding achievements but also someday, they may even take over the whole company.”

As he turns around to address the crowd, he bumps into Mr. Lang. The whole atmosphere changes to an awful silence.

“Oh, Boss! I…I thought you will come in later,” Tony stammers.

Chris takes a glass of champagne and says with a poker face, “I propose a toast to Richard and Tony and the rest of the Southern Division, a grand farewell from the company.”

“Boss, you are kidding, aren’t you? I present to you, Mr. Chris Lang, the Joker,” Richard quickly chips in. No one laughs. The silence is deafening and embarrassing.

“Boss, I gave my life to this company. Hey guys, you promised me that you back me up in this,” he adds in desperation.

“Your division has been threatening all the employees of this company and you think I don’t know,” Chris thunders. “And success has got into your heads. You have depended on the platform in Hi-Vision Co for all your success. You owe me everything. And I know what you did to my son,” he adds angrily.

Meanwhile two familiar faces stroll into the room, like they are waiting for the right moment.

“Richard and Tony had told us that if we don’t leave the company, we will be in for a hard time. I was threatened many times, Ray recalls his side of the story.

“They deliberately blocked my car on my way home and some of my files went missing. No one dared to cooperate with us due to ‘The Duo’,” Cindy interjects.

Some police officers rush in when Chris calls for them. “Richard and Tony, you guys have a lot to explain to the officers with your intimidation, fraud and all,” he speaks sternly, shaking his head.

As ‘The Duo’ are hauled away, Chris signals for all Southern Division staff to go too. They gladly leave knowing that they are spared from being arrested as well. As they scramble out, they see a dashing young man wearing a smart tuxedo walks in. Jonathan Lang, the son of the CEO, stands in front of all those remaining in the room.

“I have an announcement,” Chris finally speaks with a smile. “My son, Jonathan will now be the CEO of the company.” The crowd breaks out in thunderous applause, relieves that peace has finally settled in Hi-Vision Co.

The parable of the Tenants is found in Matthew 21:33-41; Mark 12:1-9; Luke 20:9-16.

As the time draws near for Jesus to eventually sacrifice His life on the cross, His teachings and tone of language begin to change. From a lovey-dovey appearance, Jesus now presents provoking messages both to His disciples and the religious authority.

This parable is indeed fiery and sharp. Like the prophets of old proclaiming their prophecies, Jesus pronounces judgment to those who reject Him and what He stands for. Jesus warns them through the parable that their rejection of Him is the rejection of the Cornerstone of God which is the Messiah. In fact, to reject Jesus is to reject God’s Word, thus God Himself.

The Chief Priests and the Pharisees have lost much of their popularity as Jesus takes on more followers. They see their ‘religious kingdom’ being torn apart while Jesus’ Kingdom of God is gathering steam. In their pride to protect their power, no one must stand in their way. Even Jesus who did tremendous miracles, believed to be a prophet by the masses, must be killed off. With their eyes blinded and ears bound with dullness, they will never grasp what God is doing through His Son. All they know is that Jesus spoke the parable against them, protraying them as the ones that persecute the servants of the Land Owner. Jesus warned them against repeating history of God's prophets being persecuted and killed by the religious leaders!

All three gospel writers have captured this all-important parable to warn people of rejecting Jesus. So many people today build their own little kingdoms without the Cornerstone. In the end, there can be nothing but brokenness and destruction.

There are several meanings to the usage of cornerstones…

1. A stone that forms a corner or angle in a structure in making sure that the building is evenly balanced and stable when completed.

2. A stone prominently situated near the base of a corner in a building as a foundation stone. Such a stone, often inscribed, laid at a ceremony marking the origin of a building.

3. A fundamental principle or underlying concept: base, basis, foundation, fundamental.

4. An indispensable and fundamental basis: the cornerstone of an argument.

To make it plain and simple, rejecting Jesus means living a life which is unbalanced and meaningless. There is no foundation whatsoever to stand on, no past nor future to base on. These people just live for the present and the only treasure is the pleasure of this world.

Rest assure that all of us will give our account to God one day. You can be very successful in the world but success without Jesus is no success! In fact, you will be cornered by the Cornerstone when the time finally comes.

Jesus is the centre of earth’s history. History is literally His story.

(Col 1:16-17) For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Therefore, let Christ be the centre of our lives! With Christ as the cornerstone of our lives, we will not only stand firm, we are ready for battles ahead to expand the kingdom of God!

Next: Parable of the Wedding Banquet.

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