Christ, the Cornerstone


When the Bible refers to a cornerstone, it refers to the first stone laid in a foundation. When Jesus is called the cornerstone, God is saying, “I measure everything by Christ.”

Mark 12:1-12


Here in Mark 12, Christ calls Himself the measuring stone, or, as it is translated in our Bibles, the cornerstone. The cornerstone, in the minds of most Americans, is the stone that tells that a building was erected at a certain time, when a certain person was mayor, and so on. It is merely an exaltation of man.

But when the Bible refers to a cornerstone, it refers to the first stone laid for the foundation. The builders would get a stone from the quarry and chisel it carefully to get as near a right angle as possible. They would measure the placement of all the other stones against that cornerstone, that first measuring stone. It was the standard by which all the walls of the building were determined.

When Jesus Christ is called the cornerstone, God is saying, “I measure everything by Jesus Christ.” It is easy to forget that fact. How common it is among Christians for a group to get together and say, “God has called us to be guardians of this one truth.” This is what develops schisms. Such a truth may relate to the Second Coming of Christ, the gifts of the Spirit, or a particular mode of baptism, but it is not seen properly unless it is measured against the cornerstone, Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ is the most important thing. There is no Presbyterian truth or Baptist truth or Plymouth Brethren truth or Pentecostal truth. There is only the truth of the whole Word of God for the whole body of Christ. If a believer puts the touchstone of his particular sect ahead of the great cornerstone, Jesus Christ, he is not in the will of God. There must be a willingness to put these things in their proper place, and when that happens, we begin to get nearer all other believers.

One of my sons used to ask me, “Daddy, what did one wall say to the other?”

“I don’t know, Son,” I would reply. “What did it say?” 

“I’ll meet you at the corner.” So it is with the Christian church. Christ is the corner. There is the Episcopalian wall, way down there, the Pentecostal wall over there, the Presbyterian wall here, and all the rest. You can get into quite a fight if you are forty feet away from Christ down that wall, and somebody else is thirty feet down another wall, and you both say, “We are the true wall.” No building was ever built that way and remained standing. Everything must be subordinate to and in line with the cornerstone.


  • What does Christ mean when he says he is the cornerstone? What does this teach us about the ministry of Christ?
  • If God used Christ to measure everything, how should Christians use Christ to measure their lives?
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