In the gospels, the word “stone” is used literally and spiritually. For example, Matthew 7:9 appears to be a literal use of the word.
“Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone?” Matthew 7:9
Likewise, Matthew 28:2.
“And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it.” Matthew 28:2
Matthew 21:42 and 44 on the other hand, use the word “stone” as a spiritual metaphor, in reference to Yeshua.
Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures:” ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’? Matthew 21:42
And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.” Matthew 21:44
Please consider Matthew 24:2.
“There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” Matthew 24:2
Is the word “stone” used literally or as a spiritual metaphor? Or could it be both?
For as long as I languished in man’s hierarchical church system, I believed Matthew 24:2 only to be a word of prophecy concerning the destruction of the physical temple building in Jerusalem. However, since being led out of man’s religious system I’ve come to see spiritual meaning behind many of the scriptures I’d once considered only literal.
For example, Yeshua referred to Simon as Petros, which means “a (piece of) rock” and to Himself as Petra, which means “a (mass of) rock” (Matthew 16:18). Petros then refers to believers as “living stones” and to the “spiritual temple” Yeshua assembles from us (1 Peter 2:5).
In keeping with the use of “stone” and “temple” as spiritual metaphors to convey a deeper spiritual meaning, I’ve come to believe that the prophecy of Matthew 24:2 is spiritual in addition to literal. Specifically, I believe the Messiah intends to throw down the religious hierarchies of men as well as the stone temple in Jerusalem, where one day there will be NO more man-made temples, AND, NO man will preside over another in religious authority.
All believers will stand with the Son as brothers.