This is our twelfth study. Please click HERE for an intro to this study. Today we will focus on the meaning of the parable of the landowner.
33 “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 went away on a journey. 34 When the harvest time approached, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his fruit.
35 “The tenants seized his servants; they beat one, killed another, and stoned a third. 36 Then he sent other servants to them, more than the first time, and the tenants treated them the same way. 37 Last of all, he sent his son to them. ‘They will respect my son,’ he said.
38 “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.’ 39 So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.
40 “Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?”
41 “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.”
42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures:
“‘The stone the builders rejected
has become the capstone;
the Lord has done this,
and it is marvelous in our eyes’?
43 “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. 44 He who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed.”
45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus’ parables, they knew he was talking about them. 46 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 parable speaks to the Jews as nation and particularity to the Jewish leaders, the Pharisees who killed the prophets (the servants) and would kill Jesus (the Son). The verdict given by the Pharisees upon the vine-growers (vs. 41) was a verdict made upon themselves. Yes, they who were the vine-growers in the parable convicted themselves. The other tenants who would be given the vineyard (or the kingdom) would be the church (v. 41, 43). So, this parable speaks prophetically about the end of the Jewish program and the beginning of the church (Rom. 11). The stone whom the builders rejected would be Christ (v. 42). The Pharisees were not stupid. They understood that Jesus was speaking about them and they wanted to kill Him.
The obvious application for me that I see is in verse 43. I am part of the church and my purpose is to produce fruit.