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Matthew 21.33 - end

posted 15 Jan 2014, 01:53 by Ben@theorderoftheblacksheep.com
Here is another story: A landowner planted a vineyard, put a wall around it, fitted it with a winepress, and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard and left town. 34 When harvesttime came, the landowner sent his servants to collect rent—in the form of grapes—from his tenants. 35 The tenants attacked these rent-collecting servants. They killed one, stoned another, and beat a third. 36 The dismayed landowner sent another band of servants to try to collect his due, a larger group of servants this time, but the tenants did the same thing—capturing, beating, killing. 37 Finally the landowner sent his son to the tenants, thinking, “They will at least respect my son.” 38 But the tenants knew the son was the best way to get to the landowner, so when they saw the son approaching they said,

Tenants: This is the landowner’s heir apparent! Let’s kill him and take his inheritance.

39 And so they did; they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.

40 What do you think the landowner will do when he comes and sees those tenants?

Chief Priests and Elders: 41 He will eviscerate them, to be sure! Then he will rent the vineyard to other tenants who will pay him at harvesttime.

Jesus: 42 I wonder if any of you has ever opened your own psalter:

    The stone that the builders rejected
        has become the very stone that holds together the entire foundation.
    This is the work of the Eternal One,
        and it is marvelous in our eyes.[f]

43 Therefore, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to people who will tend its sweet fruit and who will give the Creator His due. [44 He who falls on the stone will be broken to pieces, and he on whom the stone falls will be crushed.][g]

Jesus has just confronted the spiritual leaders of the land with hard reality. They have two choices: they can believe Him and repent, or they can disbelieve Him and call His stories rabble-rousing and craziness. In their minds, the cost of believing is just too high. Everything they have—their positions and standings in the community, their worldviews, their own images of themselves—is at stake. But they can’t openly condemn this popular teacher of the people.

45 And so the chief priests and the Pharisees, the teachers and the elders, knew that when Jesus told these stories He was speaking about them. 46 Not believing, they looked for a way to arrest Him—a stealthy way, though. They were afraid to make too bold a move against Him because all the people believed He was a prophet.