These last parables that Jesus is teaching the chief priests and the scribes and the elders in Jerusalem are easily understood and it is clear that Jesus is talking directly to them. When he finishes the parable of the two sons, he says to them, “when you saw it”. They could have changed their course of action but refused. Then Jesus gives them the parable of the tenants in the vineyard and they judge the evil tenants correctly, but can’t recognize the application to themselves and continue on their path to destroy Jesus, the heir of God’s vineyard. So, finally, Jesus says to them, “the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and will be given to a people who produce its fruits”. Still, they seek to kill him.
The Two Sons Parable
Both sons in this parable acted contrary to their words but one of them did the right thing in the end. Isn’t this the point of the parable that it is the end result that matters. The son in Matthew 21:29 first said “I don’t want to”. How many of us have had that reaction when asked to do something? But he did it, he did his fathers will. We don’t need to like doing the right thing, we just need to do it. But the other son, said in Matthew 21:20 “I will, sir” but didn’t.There are many people that want to please you or are afraid to speak the truth to you, or for any other reason don’t do what was asked. It is these people, in Matthew 21:23 “the Chief priests and the elders”, that Jesus is talking about in Matthew 21:32 when he says “when you saw it, you did not even change your minds later”.
Tenants in the Vineyard Parable
The Stone Which the Builders Rejected
Jesus was clearly still talking to, and about, the chief priests and the scribes from Mark 11:18 and they knew he was talking about them in Mark 12:12. There are some key points that Jesus made here:
- The owner was only asking for “some of the fruit of the harvest” in Mark 12:2. Isn’t that how tenant farming works? But in Mark 12:3 the tenants “sent him away empty”. They weren’t willing to pay anything for using the land.
- As the owner sends other emissaries, the tenants get bolder. Now, in Mark 12:7 they say, “This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and the inheritance will be ours!” It isn’t enough for them that they have been there rent free, now they want the land for themselves.
- But they have no right to the land. The owner will not lose his right to the land because of their evil actions. He will displace them, “destroy them”, and rightly so. Even their agreement together, even their numbers of tenants, will not help them escape the right judgement to come.
The Kingdom of God Will be Taken Away From You
The chief priests and the elders answered the parable in Matthew 21:33-41 correctly. They knew what the master of the vineyard must do in Matthew 21:41 “destroy those evil men completely and lease the vineyard to other tenant farmers”. Jesus then uses this understanding to explain why they have lost their position and the nation would be razed and the people scattered in
Matthew 21:43 (LEB) For this reason, I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and will be given to a people who produce its fruits.
May This Never Happen!
Luke 20:16 gives an insight, as the chief priests and elders recognize that this parable is about them, they react saying “May this never happen!”, but it is happening as they are speaking. They are finished because they hear the truth and respond with anger instead of repentance and in Luke 20:16 “sought to lay their hands on him at that same hour”.
Paying Taxes to Caesar
- Matthew 21:28–32 The Two Sons Parable
- Mark 12:1–12 The Stone Which the Builders Rejected
- Matthew 21:33–46 The Kingdom of God Will be Taken Away From You
- Matthew 21:28-46
- Matthew 22:1-22
- Mark 12:1-17
- Luke 20:9-26
The Life and Ministry of Jesus Christ – The Gospels
This series follows the order of readings from the Tyndale One Year Chronological Bible. Covering these events chronologically as they happened, gives a much different context and helps us understand the move of God as He is introducing the Saviour, the Light of the world, Jesus Christ. This series begins with Return To Me And I Will Return To You at the end of Malachi and introduces the “Witnesses” writing the Gospels.
is helping Jewish people return to their homeland. You might fund one that desires to go home. http://operationexodususa.org/Overview