There’s nothing like hearing someone tell a story and realizing you’re the villain…
- V33 – “Hear another parable” – Jesus is just plowing forward, confronting them over and over with their hypocrisy and sin. First He sidestepped their question (21:27), then He hits them with these three parables where it’s obvious they’re the bad guys. There must have been smoke coming out their ears by the time He finished with them.
◊ When God or one of His people confronts me in sin, do I respond with repentance or a hard heart and closed ears?
- V33 – The master of the house is God and the vineyard is the nation of Israel. The tenants are the religious/political leaders.
- V34 – The servants are the prophets God has sent to His people along the way. A prophet’s job was to turn people’s hearts back toward God and advance God’s kingdom, but they were often abused or killed for their faithfulness to God.
- V38 – Jesus says in barely veiled terms that He’s the Son of God and they are going to kill Him so they can run Israel the way they want. In the parable, the tenants recognized the son as the heir. Is Jesus insinuating that the leaders know He’s God’s Son and are choosing to do away with Him out of selfish motives so they can continue to control God’s kingdom?
- One can have a little sympathy for the Pharisees if you imagine that they’re trying to protect what God had given them (even though they had twisted the truth and had a poor grip on the reality of what God was asking of them) but if they saw that Jesus was the Messiah and rejected Him because He was calling them out – well that’s a whole ‘nother bucket of worms.
◊ Am I keeping the Gospel and the advancement of God’s Kingdom the main thing or am I getting caught up in trivial matters that aren’t the point?
- V41 – Their answer suggests that they don’t realize yet that they’re the “tenants” in the parable.
- V43 – If they didn’t realize they were the tenants before, they do now! Jesus calls them out on their bad leadership and says the kingdom is going to be given to a whole new people or nation – Gentiles – because the nation of Israel didn’t faithfully produce the fruit of obedience and advance God’s kingdom.
- V44 – He’s referring back to the cornerstone mentioned in v42. My study Bibles didn’t really explain what this means, but I assume it means when we encounter Christ, we are broken – we can no longer be the same. Either we become whole and complete by building our lives on this cornerstone or we remain incomplete and broken by rejecting Him. When Jesus comes back to bring us to the new Heaven and Earth, He will crush out all evil.
- V45 – Yep, they got it!
- V46 – They feared people more than they feared God.
- V2-3 – This is a parable for us right now! We have been invited to God’s banquet of mercy and grace. The One who created and has authority over all things is inviting each of us to sit at His table and feast.
- V4-5 – To refuse this magnificent gift is not only foolish, it shows extreme disrespect to the generous King.
◊ Have I accepted the King’s invitation or am I just going about my business?
- V6 – When you read about it in a parable like this it really highlights how sad it is that Christians would be abused and/or killed for their faith. Not only are they killing the messenger, they’re killing the messenger who’s bringing them an invitation to a generous banquet.
- V7 – This is an allusion to the coming destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70.
- V8-10 – The kingdom of heaven is about to expand from just Jews to any who will accept the invitation.
- V11 – We can come as we are to the kingdom of heaven, but we don’t stay as we were. (Colossians 3:1-14, 2 Corinthians 5:17)
◊ Am I trying to wear my “old life” when I should be putting on a new life?
- V14 – The ESV note on this verse says “Many are called means that many have been invited to the wedding feast. But not all those invited are actually the ones who are supposed to be there, because few are chosen. This has been described as the doctrine of a “general calling”: the gospel is proclaimed to all people everywhere, both those who will believe and those who will not. However, Paul also mentions another kind of calling, an effective calling from God that comes powerfully to individuals and brings a positive response. When the gospel is proclaimed, only some are effectively called…(1 Cor. 1:24, 26-28).”
Wrap up your quiet time by praying through the following questions:
- Based on this passage of Scripture, what can I thank God for?
- What do these verses tell me about God and His character?
- Based on this passage, is there anything I need to confess to God and ask forgiveness for?
- What do these verses remind me to pray for others?
- What do these verses move me to pray for myself?