Jesus’ Parable of the Wicked Tenants

Read Matthew 21:33-46

Old city wall in Jerusalem

Old city wall in Jerusalem

In the Gospel text for this week, Jesus continues to address the question asked by the chief priests and the elders of the Temple, “By what authority…..” He offers yet another lesson based on the allegorical vision of God and his kingdom as a vineyard, but now shifting the focus away from inspecting the fruit of the vineyard, but focusing on the tension that arises between the owner of the vineyard and the tenants/workers that tend to the vineyard. It is very easy to understand whom the characters represent in this parable, even so much that the text ends by saying, “When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they realized that he was speaking about them.”  However, this parable reaches right into our lives and our relationship with God, and it names us as well.

When we read that after the owner has sent multiple servants to deal with the tenants, only to have them beaten and killed, he sends his own son, “because they will respect him.” We find that absurd! Why would the owner do that? It does not make sense. It is completely unexpected. They reject the son, take him, and kill him, expecting to receive the son’s inheritance.

This is exactly what God did in sending His only Son into the world. Jesus Christ brought the fruits of the kingdom with him, which is God’s amazing grace and mercy, so that God’s people would know his goodness, and what do we do? We kill him, we push Christ out of our own lives, rejecting him again and again, rather than repenting and turning to him.

Is Jesus Christ the cornerstone of your faith? Without Christ, the wall of faith tumbles. Though we reject him time and time again, God gives us the Son’s and His inheritance just the same. Though it is absurd, we get more than we expect or can even imagine.

Come to worship this Sunday and receive the fruits of the kingdom which Christ gives of himself.

Jeff Backer, Intern Pastor