Jesus tells about the owner of a vineyard

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Jesus begins to speak to the people in parables (v. 1). He tells how an owner rented his vineyard out to tenant farmers or vine-dressers on a crop basis and then he went to stay in another place. At harvest time he sent a servant to collect his share of the crop. Instead of sharing the crop, the vine-dressers beat him up and sent him away (vv. 2-3). When the owner didn’t get his share he sent a second slave and then a third with the same results (vv. 4-5). Finally he sent his own beloved son, whom they killed (vv. 7-8).

The meaning of the parable is rather clear. The vineyard was the Jewish nation. The vine-dressers were Israel’s religious leaders. The slaves were the mistreated prophets and the beloved son was Christ. It was evident that the vine-dressers thought they could kill the son and take possession of the vineyard. By telling this story Jesus exposed the religious leaders plot to kill him and warned that their sins would be punished (vv. 9-11). He referred to Himself as the stone rejected by the builders (v. 10)).These leaders knew that Jesus was talking about them and they wanted to arrest Him (v. 12). However because of their fear of the crowd they let Him alone and departed. This parable is full of truth that tells us certain things about God:

  1. It tells us of the generosity of God. The vineyard was equipped with everything that was necessary to make the work of the cultivators easy and profitable.
  2. It tells us of the trust of God. The owner went away and left the cultivators to run the vineyard themselves.
  3. It tells us of the patience of God. Not once or twice but many times the master gave the cultivators the chance to pay the debt they owed.
  4. It tells us of the ultimate triumph of the justice of God. Men might take advantage of the patience of God, but in the end comes judgment and justice.


Ask - Do I make Jesus feel welcome in my life? What action might make Him feel unwelcome?  Do I let Him have what is rightfully His as it pertains to my time and material things?

Mark 12:1-12 (English Standard Version)

And he began to speak to them in parables. "A man planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a pit for the winepress and built a tower, and leased it to tenants and went into another country. When the season came, he sent a servant to the tenants to get from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. And they took him and beat him and sent him away empty-handed. Again he sent to them another servant, and they struck him on the head and treated him shamefully. And he sent another, and him they killed. And so with many others: some they beat, and some they killed. He had still one other, a beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying, 'They will respect my son.' But those tenants said to one another, 'This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.' And they took him and killed him and threw him out of the vineyard. What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others. Have you not read this Scripture: "'The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes'?" And they were seeking to arrest him but feared the people, for they perceived that he had told the parable against them. So they left him and went away.

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