What did Jesus really say?

by Misha'al Abdullah Al-Kadhi

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6.13: The rejected stone

From the promise in Genesis 21:13-18, Jesus (pbuh) spoke of the kingdom of God being taken away from the Jews and given to the rejected stone of

"Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country: And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it. And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise. But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son. But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance. And they caught him, and cast [him] out of the vineyard, and slew [him]. When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen? They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out [his] vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons. Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes? Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them. But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet."

Matthew 21:33-46

Indeed, prophethood was transferred from the nation of the Jews to the Jews' rejected stone, the nation of the Arabs (Ishmael's nation, the nation of Muhammad pbuh). Some have misunderstood this verse to refer to Jesus (pbuh) as the rejected stone. This can be seen to be a misinterpretation by simply reading the above verse carefully. Jesus (pbuh), in this parable is obviously drawing a parallel between the actions of the Jews and their killing and stoning of previous prophets, or "servants" in this verse.

"Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers"

Matthew 23:31-32

In other words, Jesus (pbuh) is speaking to the Jews as a racial entity. The men standing before him did not kill, beat, and stone the previous prophets, rather their forefathers did. But as a nation, they are all responsible. They are following in their forefathers footsteps. What is Jesus (pbuh) telling the Jews? He is telling them that they, as a nation, have abused their position, and therefore, God Almighty will take His kingdom from the Jews and give it to a different "NATION."

How will we know which nation God's prophethood will be transferred to? The verse states that it will be given to the nation of the "rejected stone." Jesus (pbuh) was indeed rejected by the Jews, but he is not the one intended. Why? Because Jesus was a Jew. His disciples were also Jews. Jesus (pbuh) himself even said quite clearly:

"But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel"

Matthew 15:24

We also read

"Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou (Jesus), being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria?"

John 4:9

He even told his own twelve apostles:

"Go not into the way of the Gentiles (non-Jews), and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand"

Matthew 10:5-7

To further emphasize this Jesus (pbuh) is quoted as saying:

"But he (Jesus) answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's (Jews) bread, and to cast [it] to dogs (Gentiles)."

Matthew 15:26

Is the kingdom of God going to be taken from the Jews and given to the Jews?

It is important to notice that the verses wherein Jesus (pbuh) is alleged to have commanded his followers to preach to the whole world (such as Mark 16:15) are either now considered later "insertions" because they are nowhere to be found in the most ancient manuscripts available today (those of the fourth century) such as the Sinaitic Manuscript, the Vatican #1209, and the Armenian version, or refer only to preaching to "all nations" (such as Luke 24:47) which, in order to not conflict with the above verses must be understood to refer to the twelve nations of Israel. This is exactly what the Qur'an says. An example of a reference to the tribes of Isaac as "nations" can be seen in Genesis 17:16. There are other examples, such as the referral to the twelve tribes of Ishmael as twelve "nations" in Genesis 25:16, the referral to the tribes of Ham in Genesis 10:20, the tribes of Shem in Genesis 10:31, the tribes of Noah in Genesis 10:32, and the tribes of Abraham in Genesis 17:5 ...etc.

Well, what do Christian scholars have to say about the word "all" in "all nations"? If we go back to one of their foremost references, Strong's concordance, and look up this word and it's meaning we will find that the original Greek word is "pas" {pas}. The following description is given for this word:

"...'The whole world has gone after him' Did the whole world go after Christ? 'Then went all Judea, and were baptized of him in the Jordan'. Was all Judea or all Jerusalem baptized in the Jordan? 'ye are of God little children', 'and the whole world lieth in the wicked one', Does the whole world there mean everybody? The words 'world' and 'all' are used in some seven or eight senses in the Scripture, and it is very rarely the 'all' means all persons, taken individually..."

Strong's Concordance, C.H. Spurgeon from a sermon on Particular Redemption.

Mr. Tom Harpur, says:

"Most of Jesus' ministry took place in the Northern district of Israel, the Galilee, and it is clear he thought of his mission as directed to the Jews, not to the world at large"

For Christ's Sake, Tom Harpur, p. 35.

In the tenth year1 of Muhammad's (pbuh) prophethood, Allah Almighty sent Gabriel with a beast called Al-Buraq in order to take prophet Muhammad (pbuh) from the "Inviolable Mosque" in Makkah to the "Furthest Mosque" in Palestine (currently known as Israel). He was then taken up into the heavens where he saw many of the signs of the Almighty and then he returned to Makkah. All of this happened in one night which was later named the night of "Israa and Miraj" (Travel by night and ascension)*. After this deed was accomplished, Allah revealed to Muhammad (pbuh) the first verses of the chapter of Al-Israa(17). Scholars of the Qur'an from long ago noticed that while the first verse speaks about this occurrence explicitly, the following verses suddenly begin to speak about the children of Israel, the scripture that was sent to them by Allah, and how they shall bring corruption into the earth. These scholars concluded that the verses were revealed in order to confirm the transfer of Allah's covenant from the children of Israel to the Islamic nation and to reveal the reason for this decree.

Please read in this regard the parting words of prophet Moses in the Old Testament when he spoke to the children of Israel on his deathbed:

"And it came to pass, when moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in a book, until they were finished, That Moses commanded the Levites(Jews), which bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, saying, Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee. For I know thy rebellion, and thy stiff neck: behold, while I am yet alive with you this day, ye have been rebellious against the LORD; and how much more after my death? Gather unto me all the elders of your tribes, and your officers, that I may speak these words in their ears, and call heaven and earth to record against them. For I know that after my death ye will utterly corrupt [yourselves], and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the latter days; because ye will do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger through the work of your hands."

Deuteronomy 31:25-29

On pages 24-25 of "The five Gospels," written over six years by 24 Christian scholars from a number of Western universities, we read

"Christian conviction eventually overwhelms Jesus: He is made to confess what Christians had come to believe...The charge to announce the good news to the whole world (Mark 13:10 and Matthew 28:18-20) was developed by Paul, Mark and others in the early days of the new movement."

This book has already demonstrated in chapter one how "Saint Paul" was the one primarily responsible for the corruption of the message of Jesus (pbuh).

Logic too verifies the Christian recognition that "the great commission" of the above verses was a later insertion of the church and not the words of Jesus (pbuh). This claim can be demonstrated to be supported by logic by observing that had Jesus (pbuh) indeed commissioned his apostles to preach to the whole world, as claimed in the above verses, then obviously they would not differ on this matter later on. However, the Bible tells us that long after this alleged commission, "St. Paul" decided to preach to the Gentiles (non-Jews). We are told in Galatians 2:13-15 that this resulted in a fierce debate and a great difference of opinion between the apostles and Paul (the apostles Peter the Rock, James the son of thunder, and Barnabas on one side, and Paul on the other). This would not have been the case if Jesus (pbuh) had explicitly commanded his apostles to preach to the gentiles and this verse was not a later insertion.

We also notice that Paul only refers to his own philosophy and opinion in his charge of "hypocrisy" against the apostles, never does he quote the alleged command of Jesus (pbuh) wherein he is claimed to have publicly commanded the twelve disciples to preach to the Gentiles. If this verse was not a later insertion, then St. Paul could have very simply defended his point of view by simply quoting Jesus (pbuh). There would be no need for him to say anything more. Thus, these verses are recognized by Christian theologians as later insertions of the Church and not the words of Jesus (pbuh). Since this topic would take up too much time and space to get into here I will suffice with this sampling for now (see section for more on this topic).

However, there is another problem which prevents Jesus (pbuh) from being the one intended. If Jesus (pbuh) was indeed the one intended by this verse then we must apply the rest of it to him also. We read...

"Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes?.. And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder"

Matthew 21:42

This rejected stone of the Jews, the nation of Ishmael, would indeed come to be victorious against all comers. The Islamic nation, through the guidance of Allah, and which fought in His name, grew till it stretched from China to Spain and was victorious against all pagan superpowers (including the Persians and the Romans) of it's time. It then went on to raise science to new heights. There was not a single nation that was able to stand in the way of the Muslims who fought in the name of God and died in His cause. Both the Jews and the Christians were either subjugated by the Roman pagans or took them as allies. Jesus (pbuh), could not be this "rejected stone" because he did not fall on the Jews or the Romans and "grind them to powder," nor did they fall on him and become "broken." Quite the contrary, the Bible alleges that Jesus (pbuh) was arrested, beaten, spat on, whipped, kicked, mocked, cut, laughed at, crucified, and then sent to hell for three days. In the mean time, the Romans and Jews went back to business as usual.

There is a distinct difference between saying that Jesus (pbuh) died for someone's sin and between saying he fell on nations and ground them to powder, and nations fell on him and were broken. This is the profile of a military leader and not a meek sacrificial lamb of God who tells his followers:

"Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have [thy] cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain"

Matthew 5:38-41

and also "Then saith he (Jesus) unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's."

Matthew 22:21

Whilem on the other hand, the Qur'an taught Muhammad (pbuh) and his followers:

"And fight against them until persecution is no more and religion is for God alone. But if they desist then let there be no hostility except against wrongdoers"


Many Christians will object "No, Jesus (pbuh) was the one intended." They will explain that the verse is not meant to be taken literally but in an abstract sense. Jesus was prophesying himself. Thus, Jesus did indeed fall on the sinners and grind them to powder and they did fall on him and become broken. In other words, matters of FAITH and not WAR are intended. This is a valid theory, so let us test it:

Those who make these claims will themselves readily acknowledge that the "son of the householder" is Jesus (pbuh) but then they go on to tell you that "the rejected stone" is also Jesus (pbuh). So:

  1. If Jesus (pbuh) is both the "son of the householder" and also "the rejected stone," then one would expect there to be some sort of hint in the text associating one with the other. For example, the text could have combined the two terms into "the rejected son." We notice that this is not the case.
  2. If the "rejected stone" is an alias for a character previously mentioned in the text, and not a completely new character, then what arguments from the Biblical text can we present that can not just as easily be applied to the other servants (prophets) who were chased away or killed, or even the "householder" (God) himself? In other words, any arguments which are presented from the text will be equally valid for any of the many other prophets who were beaten, stoned, and killed by this nation.
  3. In this parable, the first servant (prophet) was beaten and was taken out of the picture. The second was killed and was also taken out of the picture. The third was then stoned and taken out of the picture. Then the son was killed and taken out of the picture. Where does the text indicate that the "son of the householder" has come back to life while the other "servants" remain dead or chased away? Where does the text state the "son" shall come back to life but the other dead servants shall not?
  4. The goal of a parable is always to describe a matter in "real-life" terms which can be seen in our every day lives so that we can better understand the point being made. IN REAL LIFE, would we expect a dead son of a householder to come back to life and "miserably destroy" all the husbandmen who killed him, or would we expect the householder to send an army to wipe out the husbandmen who killed his son and servants?
  5. The "Householder" in this parable refers to a non-abstract God. The "servants" refer to physical prophets. The "Son of the Householder" refers to a physical Jesus (pbuh), the beating, killing, and stoning of the servants refer to a physical beating, killing, and stoning of the prophets, even the vineyard refers to a physical kingdom of God. But now, in order to make this rejected stone refer to Jesus (pbuh) we must claim that the "grinding and breaking" refer to an ABSTRACT grinding and breaking, thus Jesus (pbuh) is the one intended. Notice how the verse is made to conform to our preconceived concepts and not the other way around?
  6. If the "grinding and breaking" referred only to an other-worldly reward for all who do not believe and not an earthly defeat (followed by one in the hereafter), then why did Jesus (pbuh) use the words: "whosoever shall FALL on this stone" and not "whosoever shall REJECT this stone." This would more accurately describe acts of BELIEF and not WAR. Also, if acts of BELIEF were meant and not acts of WAR then there would be no need for "on whomever it shall FALL" otherwise it would be implied that Jesus was forcing people to disbelieve.

For example, if a Jew did not believe in Moses (pbuh), would it be more accurate to say: "He REJECTED Moses" or to say "He FELL upon Moses"? If Pharaoh sent an army to kill Moses (pbuh) and the Jews, would it be more accurate to say "Pharaoh FELL upon Moses" or "Pharaoh REJECTED Moses"? These verbs were carefully chosen for a reason. Indeed, if we were to go back to the Bible itself, we would find that the term "fall on" is in fact used to convey the general meaning of "fight", or "to wage war". For example, in Judges we read:

"And they said unto him, We are come down to bind thee, that we may deliver thee into the hand of the Philistines. And Samson said unto them, Swear unto me, that ye will not fall upon me yourselves."

Judges 15:12

And "And the men were afraid, because they were brought into Joseph's house; and they said, Because of the money that was returned in our sacks at the first time are we brought in; that he may seek occasion against us, and fall upon us, and take us for bondmen, and our asses."

Genesis 43:18

And "And they said, The God of the Hebrews hath met with us: let us go, we pray thee, three days' journey into the desert, and sacrifice unto the LORD our God; lest he fall upon us with pestilence, or with the sword."

Exodus 5:3

And "Then Zebah and Zalmunna said, Rise thou, and fall upon us: for as the man is, so is his strength. And Gideon arose, and slew Zebah and Zalmunna, and took away the ornaments that were on their camels' necks."

Judges 8:21

There are countless other examples, however, these should suffice. Thus, we see that the prophesy is for one who will wage war against those who killed and persecuted the prophets of God. This war against the "killers of the prophets" by this messenger of God would result in "miserably destroying" these transgressors. This prophesy was fulfilled by Muhammad (pbuh) who began by signing pacts and treaties with the Jews. However, after they reneged on their pacts and broke their promises, he fought against them, utterly destroyed them, and finally expelled them from Arabia for all time (see Chapter 10).

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