Knowing the time at which this parable is told is very helpful. Jesus tells this parable at the same time as yesterday’s parable. Yesterday, we saw that no matter how obedient the religious leaders were, their lack of faith was what Jesus noticed. After telling the parable that exposed their non-belief, Jesus then told the parable that we are looking at today.
In this parable, and landowner rents out a vineyard to some tenants and then sent some servants to collect his fruit as payment. The tenants beat the servants, so the landowner sent more servants to collect his payment. They treated those servants the same. He finally sent his son, which the tenants murdered. Jesus asked the crowd what should happen and the crowd said that the landowner should bring them to an end and rent out the vineyard to new tenants. Jesus then quoted Psalms 118:22-23, “The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone (cornerstone); the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes.” Jesus went on to explain that the kingdom of God will be taken away from the “religious” people and given to a people “who will produce its fruit.”
I think it is important to remember that yesterday’s parable exposed the un-belief of the religious leaders, and today’s parable was telling them that they were not going to be a part of God’s kingdom. I also find it interesting that Jesus had the son killed in the parable; I think He was showing the leaders that He knew they were plotting to kill Him. Throughout this study of Jesus’ parables, I have seen how Jesus was talking to the religious leaders of the day. At the end of today’s parable, we see that they knew Jesus was talking about them, which made them angrier.
Let’s let God do His work in our lives so that we don’t come to a place where we are rejecting Jesus as our Savior. Once again, we cannot do anything to merit God’s favor; He just wants our faith. The religious leaders would not give God their faith; they just wanted to look good. Jesus told them that Abraham’s inheritance would be taken away and given to those who had faith. He wants people who will produce fruit for Him!
Is your faith producing fruit for God?