The Parable of the Tenants
9 He went on to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard, rented it to some farmers and went away for a long time. 10 At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants so they would give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 11 He sent another servant, but that one also they beat and treated shamefully and sent away empty-handed.12 He sent still a third, and they wounded him and threw him out.
13 “Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my son, whom I love; perhaps they will respect him.’
14 “But when the tenants saw him, they talked the matter over. ‘This is the heir,’ they said. ‘Let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ 15 So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.
“What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? 16 He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others.”
When the people heard this, they said, “God forbid!”
17 Jesus looked directly at them and asked, “Then what is the meaning of that which is written:
“‘The stone the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone’?
18 Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.”
19 The teachers of the law and the chief priests looked for a way to arrest himimmediately, because they knew he had spoken this parable against them. But they were afraid of the people.
Observations & Reflections
This parable is a representation of what it means to hear the Gospel preached and reject its message. The Pharisees were those who thought themselves to be the rulers of all religious teachings and believed themselves to be the final authority. Jesus up until this point was preaching the Gospel as clear as day and had made it known multiple times that His time was coming to an end.
Jesus had come to this world to save us from sin and eternal punishment. He had performed miracles and shown a type of love that the world has never seen before. Yet, those who had heard this message were about to the ones who would betray and kill Him. They did not like being told that ultimately one day their own sin would defeat them and that God would find victory over their evil hearts.
They became so blind by their own pride that they wanted nothing more then to destroy once and for all the message of the Gospel and the one who came preaching it. Jesus makes it clear that at the end of all this, even though it appears that they might be successful in killing Him, their victory would not last for very long and that they would eventually be crushed because of their sin.
Jesus’s death on the cross was not the end. There was no victory found in killing Him. We know this because the story continues later on in the Gospel of Luke that tell us Jesus was raised again and is still alive in reigning today. Death lost and therefore the plot to kill Him also failed. Jesus proved to be the ultimate victor over everything in this world and He holds the key to an everlasting future with Him.