The Weekend Word
The Parable of the Tenants
- Again we should note what is going on here, what Jesus is doing as he is working them to repent – to get them to learn by the obedience to his word.
- If they will not learn by the seriousness of the hour – Messiah is here – Salvation is here,
- If they will not learn this by his kindness, they will have to learn it the hard way – from his wrath.
33 “Hear another parable. There was a master of a house who planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a winepress in it and built a tower and leased it to tenants, and went into another country.
- Pay close attention in this parable for the promised inheritance, taken away and even given to another – this is judgment.
- The Pharisees, students of the law understood this is about Isaiah 5 – they understood that Israel is God’s vineyard.
- READ ISA 5:1-7
34 When the season for fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants to get his fruit.
- Who are some of the players
- The Master of the House = God … the Father
- Tenants – God chose the tenants as is his right as Master of the House
- Servants = Prophets
- His Son = Jesus
35 And the tenants took his servants and beat one, killed another, and stoned another.
- Look what the people of Israel did to Jeremiah – look at what was done to John the Baptist and other prophets.
36 Again he sent other servants, more than the first. And they did the same to them.
- God continually reaching out to his people
37 Finally he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’
- You would think so – you would think that they knew the Father and the goodness he provided (again look at Isaiah 5 how the Father had nurtured and cultivated his vineyard – that they would have respect for the son.
38 But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and have his inheritance.’
- Not so – and isn’t this like man even today – we want it all to consume on ourselves.
- We think that following God is to give up what is rightfully ours.
39 And they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.
- Who was crucified outside the walls? Jesus
40 When therefore the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?”
- So look here for the attempt to get people to repent.
- You are sons, you are tenants you are invited to the marriage feast
- Look at the order of these parables
- (1) Sons – 28 – 32
- (2) Tenants – 33 – 44
- (3) The marriage feast – 23:1 – 14
- So Jesus leaves the question up to them – this is similar when Nathan challenged David’s adultery with Bathsheba with the little lamb story and David without realizing it pronounced judgment on himself.
- Jesus speaks but will they apply it to themselves?
41 They said to him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death and let out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits in their seasons.”
- Perry Mason could not have set this up any better – to get the guilty parties to condemn themselves.
- As I said above, King David was trapped as Nathan said “you are the man.”
42 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’?
- Psalm 118:22-23
- This very event was prophesied 1,000 years before.
- God has chosen the rejected stone to be the cornerstone.
43 Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits.
- Taken away from whom? Israel
- Given to whom? The New Israel – called the Church.
- The vineyard is going to be rented out to other tenants.
- When the message of Paul was rejected in the Jewish synagogues God had Paul turn to the gentiles.
- In one generation, gentiles outnumbered Jews in the church.
- Now there is always a remnant – I am, through my family line the remnant.
- But not to be Israel but to be the Church.
44 And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.”
- Either way, this is going to hurt.
- It will either break you through confession or it will crush you through judgment.
- A Jesus reminder – When the stone falls on a man – the stone does not get hurt.
- This is Jesus separating the sheep and the goats.
45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they perceived that he was speaking about them.
- Can you imagine the Pharisees in their self righteousness applying Jesus’ words to every group they hate when the light goes on and they realize Jesus is pointing his finger at them?
- These are fighting words.
46 And although they were seeking to arrest him, they feared the crowds, because they held him to be a prophet.
- This is a problem – Jesus must be taken down, but how do you do it without a revolt?
I want to emphasize the importance of reading the Isaiah passage to have a good understanding here. When we got hear in my class we took a trip over to Isaiah for the whole class to discuss this. Word count here does not all for it at this time.
You’ve done a very nice job pointing out how Jesus revealed himself as the One spoken of in the OT.
I have been showing in these middle chapters that Jesus is terminating his relationship with Old Israel and establishing it with his New Israel – the Church. This seems to be a good passage show how this ends. The vineyard is the people of God tended by the Jews. They held responsibility for all that is contained in being Israel, including God’s love and promises. They not only failed, but betrayed their responsibility and benefactor. Jesus through this parable is announcing that the vineyard is being removed and assigned now as the new Israel — the Church.
Praise be to God.
#3 – a point well taken and worthy of praise indeed – God’s plan will prevail to a good end