The Parable of the Wicked Tenants

The Gospel Meditation

Luke 20:9–18

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.

1.         Only a day or two remains before Jesus will be crucified. Many Jews are listening to Him teach and preach at the Temple in Jerusalem. Here is a parable in which Jesus describes what will take place in years to come.

2.         The parable concerns a man who planted a vineyard, hired others to care for it as he left the area for a lengthy period of time. Later on the owner of the vineyard sends a servant to those who are caring for it to receive some fruit from the vineyard.

3.         The first of these servants sent is beaten and sent away by the tenants of the vineyard. A second servant is also beaten and treated badly. And even a third servant is wounded and sent away.

4.         Finally, the owner of the vineyard sends a beloved son, whom the owner hopes will be welcomed. But no, this son is cast out of the vineyard and killed.

5.         This tragic event results in the owner coming and destroying the tenants and giving the vineyard to others.

6.         Those hearing the parable protest, and then the owner of the vineyard quotes Psalm 118:22, which speaks of a stone that is rejected, which nevertheless becomes the chief stone, even the most important stone, the cornerstone, which will bring horrible judgment upon the tenants of that vineyard.

7.         This parable is understood to refer to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 A.D. And this may be seen as a last-ditch effort on Jesus’ part to warn His fellow Jews of what is about to unfold in their future history.

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