Matthew 21:33–46 (ESV)
The Parable of the Tenants
33 “Hear another parable. There was a master of a house who planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a winepress in it and built a tower and leased it to tenants, and went into another country. 34 When
the season for fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants to get his fruit. 35 And the tenants took his servants and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. 36 Again he sent
other servants, more than the first. And they did the same to them. 37 Finally he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 38 But
when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and have his inheritance.’ 39 And they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. 40 When
therefore the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” 41 They 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.”
42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures:
“ ‘The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
this was the Lord’s doing,
and it is marvelous in our eyes’?
43 Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing
its fruits. 44 And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.”
45 When the chief
priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they perceived that he was speaking about them. 46 And although they were seeking to arrest him, they feared the crowds, because they held him to be a prophet.
Jesus warns His opponents that rejecting Him will ultimately lead to their exclusion from the Kingdom. Judgment is based on one’s
reaction to Jesus. Those rejecting Him are excluded from God’s kingdom and are consigned to the only other option: an eternity apart from God in hell. In His great wisdom and mercy, God used the murder of His Son to work salvation, and He used the rejection
of Israel’s leaders to hasten the extension of the Kingdom to Gentiles.
I pray: Heavenly Father, keep us united by faith to Christ, our source of
life, lest we ever turn away, reject Him, and so lose our hope of salvation. Amen.