Jesus said, “Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a watchtower. Then he leased it to tenants and went to another country. When the harvest time had come, he sent his slaves to the tenants to collect his produce. But the tenants seized his slaves and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. Again he sent other slaves, more than the first; and they treated them in the same way. Finally he sent his son to them, saying, `They will respect my son.’ But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, `This is the heir; come, let us kill him and get his inheritance.’ So they seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” They said to him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the harvest time.”
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 amazing in our eyes’?
“Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom.”
From Elaine Tindill-Rohr
“Listen to another parable.” Any time Jesus says this he seems to be trying to get people to get outside of their current mindsets. And this story is very pointed. This passage is after Jesus has arrived in Jerusalem for the last time, with the pharisees and priests looking for reasons to get rid of him. In the parable the tenants don’t own the land, the crops, or the processing facilities. They are working the land, and rather than take their portion, they decide that they should get it all. “This is the heir, kill him and take control of the property”
And Jesus turns the tables on the expectations of the people listening and answering, just like the prophet did to David about Bathsheba. “Lease the vineyard to other tenants” And “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.” Produce the fruits of the Kingdom of God, or you will lose whatever vineyard you may be working in. Very much a warning, and one that the priests and Pharisees were angry to hear.
How often do I get angry when I am warned about some behavior that I think is ok but is problematic. And how often do I ignore those warnings to my eventual detriment?