120. Parable of the Absent Landlord
33“Hear another parable. There was a householder who planted a vineyard, and set a hedge around it, and dug a wine press in it, and built a tower, and let it out to tenants, and went into another country.
34When the season of fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants, to get his fruit;
35and the tenants took his servants and beat one, killed another, and stoned another.
36Again he sent other servants, more than the first; and they did the same to them.
37Afterward he sent his son to them, saying, 'They will respect my son.'
38But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, 'This is the heir; come, let us kill him and have his inheritance.'
39And they took him and cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him.
40When therefore the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?”
41They said to him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and let out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits in their seasons.” 16When they heard this, they said, “God forbid!”
42Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the scriptures: 'The very stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner; this was the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes'? 43Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing the fruits of it. 44And he who falls on this stone, while he is thereby broken in pieces, will be saved; but when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.”
45When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they perceived that he was speaking about them.a 46But when they tried to arrest him, they feared the multitudes, because they held him to be a prophet.
(Mt. 21:33–41; Lk. 20:16; Mt. 21:42–46)
a “When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they perceived that he was speaking about them.”—In this parable, God is the householder, the tenants are the Jewish nation, and the servants sent by the householder are the Jewish prophets. The son whom the tenants rejected and killed represents Jesus and his gospel of the kingdom.
Mt. 21:42 Psalms 118:22,–23
Mt. 21:43 a people producing (Rieu) / a nation producing (RSV)
Mt. 21:44 stone, while he is thereby broken in pieces, will be saved; / stone will be broken to pieces; (RSV) (173:4/1893–4)