Today’s Readings: Matthew 21:33-44, Mark 12:1-11, Luke 20:9-19, and Psalm 131
As we look at the Parable of the Wicked Farmers (Tenants) found in Matthew, Mark, and Luke I’m reminded of the meaningfulness used in all of the parables by Jesus. These parables were used to tell a story to the listeners that would connect to their hearts and souls. This parable as well as the story of the two sons from yesterday connect when Jesus is being questioned. A story that would connect with the crowds current lives as well as our present day. The difference in this next parable is its direct pointedness to the priests, Pharisees, and religious leaders that had stopped him to question who he was and questioning his authority. This all came after Jesus called them out on their hypocrisy.
In Jesus’s last week of life on earth, Jesus had just entered the temple and had turned things upside-down. (literally) He was upset and saddened by what they were doing. The high priests and religious leaders had just asked Jesus, “By what authority are you doing these things?” After sharing one parable about the Two Sons, Jesus shares His second of three parables in this questioning of His authority. Jesus paints a picture to those that have gathered to hear him preach. One that they would all relate to at that time. Verse 33 a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a wall around it, dug the winepress, and built a watchtower. This illustration in 33 shows the landowner taking care of self and others by building the vineyard, he protected the vineyard by hedging around it, then added a winepress that would turn their grapes into grape juice, then finally a tower which would have multiple purposes. It would provide security, shelter, and a place for storage. The stage is set for Jesus to tell about three servants sent by the landowner to receive his portions from the land given to the farmers. What happens to the three servants sent?…beaten, killed, and stoned. All dead. After each death the landowner showed grace that in sending his next servant the belief was they would repent and give back the fruits provided for them. Lastly, the farmer sends his own son. Sound familiar… His own son to collect the fruit. What do they farmers do? They plot and murder him in hopes they would then be given the inheritance. In verse 40 Jesus then asks those questioning his authority, “When the owner of the vineyard returns,” Jesus asked, “what do you think he will do to those farmers?”
Their response and Jesus’s response varies. The high priests respond with judgement and replacement, where Jesus asks first if they have ever read the scriptures. (ouch)
‘The stone that the builders rejected
has now become the cornerstone.
This is the Lord’s doing,
and it is wonderful to see.’43 I tell you, the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a nation that will produce the proper fruit. 44 Anyone who stumbles over that stone will be broken to pieces, and it will crush anyone it falls on.
The priests knew they were just called out and were upset. In reality they would have been better to repent. Their eyes and ears were not open to this parable. The Psalm surely song a couple days earlier as Jesus entered the town. Psalm 118:22-23 says The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone. 23 This is the Lord’s doing, and it is wonderful to see.
What does the parable mean for us? I think of the vineyard is where we are at now. If you have a chance read the connection to Isaiah 5 God’s people are His Vineyard. We are in a place where we hear Him, produce fruit for Him, and respond to Him when he calls on us. How are we responding? How are we doing with the vineyard he has put us in to produce fruit? It’s amazing to think that one day God will be sending His son once again to see how we have done? Will we be ready to hand everything over or standing with those who have rejected Him? My prayer is for us all to be praising Him together standing with handfuls of fruit, giving Him everything we have. That as we stand in our vineyard our and build cornerstone of the tower we call home is the foundation of Christ.
God has chosen us to be the living cornerstone’s for Christ, what an amazing blessing.
1 Peter 2:4 says 4 You are coming to Christ, who is the living cornerstone of God’s temple. He was rejected by people, but he was chosen by God for great honor.
Tysdale Life Application Bible
Grace To You –