Friday, 9 March 2012
9th March 2012 Matthew 21:33-43, 45-46
The Parable of the Tenants
“Listen to another parable: There was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a winepress in it and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and moved to another place. When the harvest time approached, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his fruit. “The tenants seized his servants; they beat one, killed another, and stoned a third. Then he sent other servants to them, more than the first time, and the tenants treated them the same way. Last of all, he sent his son to them. ‘They will respect my son,’ he said. “But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him and take his inheritance.’ So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. “Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” “He will bring those wretches to a wretched end,” they replied, “and he will rent the vineyard to other tenants, who will give him his share of the crop at harvest time.” Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: “‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes’? “Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus’ parables, they knew he was talking about them. They looked for a way to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowd because the people held that he was a prophet.
This is not a parable I found easy to understand, I always thought it was going one way and then it turns on its head. But then I read about how this parable relates to the old testament and the way God entrusted His mission to the people of Israel. Suddenly it made sense.
At the end Jesus is foretelling of his death, of the end of his life on earth and his betrayal by those he came to save. And Jesus tells us that we are called to spread the word of God and make disciples.
Jesus we thank you for those who help us understand your words when we struggle. Help us speak your words to those we meet. Amen