From Matthew 20-21
As we enter Jerusalem Jesus begins to engage in conflict. This will happen more and more until Jesus then gets captured. In today’s reading Jesus tells a parable. He is speaking about his opponents. What are the main ways people have tried to oppose God, not giving to him his due?
This post is part of my bible in a year series.
Passage and Comments
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. 34 When the season for fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants to get his fruit. 35 And the tenants took his servants and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. 36 Again he sent other servants, more than the first. And they did the same to them. 37 Finally he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my 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.’ 39 And they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. 40 When therefore the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” 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.” (Mt 21:33–41)
In this parable the people hired rebel against the owner. Killing his servants and then his son. Jesus is saying that God expects the people he hires into his service to produce fruit. Many of the Jews of the time, supposedly God’s people, were not serving God as they ought. They had opposed God and his servants from the start. We will find out soon enough they will kill his son.
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’?
43 Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits. 44 And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.”
45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they perceived that he was speaking about them. 46 And although they were seeking to arrest him, they feared the crowds, because they held him to be a prophet. (Mt 21:42–46)
Those who opposed Jesus were the descendents of those who killed the prophets. Soon they will kill Jesus, God’s son. Jesus says he will bring in people who will produce fruit for him.
This parable says a couple things about Jesus and God. God punishes those who fail to serve him. Throughout all of Israel’s history those who opposed God’s prophets will be treated by God accordingly. On the other hand Jesus is saying something about the people he puts into service in his Kingdom. They are the ones who give to God the product of their labours. And both God and Jesus like this.
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