Matthew 21:33-45 – “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. 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 with those tenants?” They said to Him, “He will bring those wretches to a wretched end, and will rent out the vineyard to other tenants who will pay him at the proper seasons.” Jesus said to them, “Did you never read in the Scriptures, ‘The stone which the builders rejected, this became the chief corner stone; this came about from the Lord, and it is marvelous in our eyes’? Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you, and be given to a nation producing the fruit of it. And he who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will scatter him like dust.” And when the chief priests and the Pharisees heard His parables, they understood that He was speaking about them.
The parable of the landowner and the wicked tenants teaches us a lot about God’s program with the nation of Israel, and it has plenty of application for individuals as well. In fact, the parable teaches us that every individual must confront the claims of Christ. Either Christ is received as Savior and becomes the cornerstone of one’s life, or He becomes the crushing stone at the end of one’s life. Let’s consider a little background and the interpretation of this parable.