Journey to Jerusalem Day 39, Luke 20:9-19
9 And he began to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard and let it out to tenants and went into another country for a long while. 10 When the time came, he sent a servant to the tenants, so that they would give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 11 And he sent another servant. But they also beat and treated him shamefully, and sent him away empty-handed. 12 And he sent yet a third. This one also they wounded and cast out. 13 Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him.’ 14 But when the tenants saw him, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir. Let us kill him, so that the inheritance may be ours.’ 15 And they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? 16 He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others.” When they heard this, they said, “Surely not!” 17 But he looked directly at them and said, “What then is this that is written:
“‘The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone’?
18 Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.”
19 The scribes and the chief priests sought to lay hands on him at that very hour, for they perceived that he had told this parable against them, but they feared the people.
In this parable Jesus is convicting the scribes and the chief priests of being wicked tenants of His Father’s vineyard—meaning, not the land of Israel, but the people of Israel. God had chosen the nation of Israel to be His people and the tribe of the Levites, from whom the chief priests came, were supposed to dedicate themselves to the Lord and were to make sure the people of Israel knew and abided by the Law.
But the chief priests and scribes had failed. They had rejected God and His prophets in favor of their own law and customs and were now plotting to kill His Only Son. They could not see their own wickedness because they had rejected the Messiah.
Jesus also used this parable to foretell His coming Kingship. Jesus is the fulfillment of Psalm 118:22, which He quotes: The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. After Jesus’ death and resurrection, Peter tells the high priest, rulers, and the elders: “This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:11-12).
Jesus is the Name by which we must be saved. Jesus is the cornerstone of God’s Church. We are now the tenants of God’s vineyard, the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are to spread the message of His salvation until He comes again.
Eternal God, merciful and gracious, thank You for Your salvation through Your Son Jesus Christ. May we be faithful tenants of Your gospel, bearing fruit for Your kingdom and bringing glory to Your holy Name. Amen.