Jesus spoke to them in parables. “A man planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a pit for the winepress, and built a tower. Then he rented it to tenant farmers and took a trip. 2 When it was time, he sent a servant to collect from the tenants his share of the fruit of the vineyard. 3 But they grabbed the servant, beat him, and sent him away empty-handed. 4 Again the landowner sent another servant to them, but they struck him on the head and treated him disgracefully. 5 He sent another one; that one they killed. The landlord sent many other servants, but the tenants beat some and killed others. 6 Now the landowner had one son whom he loved dearly. He sent him last, thinking, They will respect my son. 7 But those tenant farmers said to each other, ‘This is the heir. Let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ 8 They grabbed him, killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard. 9 “So what will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others. 10 Haven’t you read this scripture, The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. 11 The Lord has done this, and it’s amazing in our eyes?” 12 They wanted to arrest Jesus because they knew that he had told the parable against them. But they were afraid of the crowd, so they left him and went away. (Mark 12:1-12, CEB)
This parable always makes me shake my head and wonder just what the people were thinking.
The tenants take the land owner’s servants and beat them, killing some and sending others back injured. So the land owner sends his son, and the tenants think, “oh if we kill this guy we can just live here as it is ours.” How does that even work? In what fairy tale do they think they are living? This is not how inheritance works.
But the tenants kill the son. And the owner will come and kill the tenants and give the vineyard to others.
The one thing about this parable that is striking is the people Jesus is telling it to are atleast able to discern it is really about them, and they are the ones that have killed the slaves and workers of the owner, and that they will be killing the son.
What do we get that we are doing that God doesn’t want us to?
How can we not be the tenants?
Loving People. Loving God.