Biblical Text: Matthew 21:33-46
This parable of the wicked tenants as it is sometimes called feels very rooted in its specific history so much so that even through the parables were told so that “hearing they might not hear” the Chief Priests discerned Jesus told this about them. It is the summaries, conclusions or maybe so far as application that open up the parable beyond the Jewish temple leadership. In my reading Jesus gives three separate summaries.
- “The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone”
- “The Kingdom of God will be taken away and given to those producing its fruit”
- “The one who falls on the stone will be broken to pieces, the one the stone falls on will be crushed”
This sermon looks at each of those in progression and how the help us hear the parable for ourselves. The placing of the cornerstone is pure gospel. “God has done this and it is marvelous in our eyes.” The second is the moral warning to watch. If you think the vineyard is yours to do with as you want, you might be killing the heir. The third thinks about our ultimate positions regarding God: ignoring such that we might trip over, set ourselves against him, or build on the cornerstone.