The Parable of the Wicked Tenants
Then he began to speak to them in parables. “A man planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a pit for the wine press, and built a watchtower; then he leased it to tenants and went to another country. When the season came, he sent a slave to the tenants to collect from them his share of the produce of the vineyard. But they seized him, and beat him, and sent him away empty-handed. And again he sent another slave to them; this one they beat over the head and insulted. Then he sent another, and that one they killed. And so it was with many others; some they beat, and others they killed. He had still one other, a beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But those tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ So they seized him, killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard. What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others. Have you not read this scripture:
‘The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
this was the Lord’s doing,
and it is amazing in our eyes’?”
When they realized that he had told this parable against them, they wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowd. So they left him and went away.
The cranky Jesus stories continue. Here Jesus moves into a parable that is ultimately about the ways that the prophets before Jesus had been treated and about what was coming for him – technically this is 4th time that Jesus has predicted his death coming up. It got me thinking about what a prophet actually does. A prophet points to the things of God first and foremost. A prophet calls out the ways that people are going against God’s desires. As a result of these things, a prophet has a hard life – its never going to be popular to point out the different ways that people should live – just as the parable here speaks of. There are some who are definitely called to be prophets, but I do belive we are all called to live prophetically – how is that happening in your life today?