Help with parable

I’m having trouble understanding this parable Jesus gave in Matthew 21: 33-46

Hear another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, 27 put a hedge around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a tower. Then he leased it to tenants and went on a journey.
34
When vintage time drew near, he sent his servants 28 to the tenants to obtain his produce.
35
But the tenants seized the servants and one they beat, another they killed, and a third they stoned.
36
Again he sent other servants, more numerous than the first ones, but they treated them in the same way.
37
Finally, he sent his son to them, thinking, 'They will respect my son.'
38
29 But when the tenants saw the son, they said to one another, 'This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and acquire his inheritance.'
39
30 They seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him.
40
What will the owner of the vineyard do to those tenants when he comes?"
41
They answered 31 him, "He will put those wretched men to a wretched death and lease his vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the proper times."
42
32 Jesus said to them, "Did you never read in the scriptures: ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; by the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes’?
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33 Therefore, I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that will produce its fruit.
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( 34 The one who falls on this stone will be dashed to pieces; and it will crush anyone on whom it falls.)"
45
When the chief priests and the Pharisees 35 heard his parables, they knew that he was speaking about them.
46
And although they were attempting to arrest him, they feared the crowds, for they regarded him as a prophet.

My consern is; did not the Pharisees give an answer that was just by human and divine law? Then theirs the response Jesus gave which confused me and I felt it did not answer his own question about what to do with a murder as in the parable.

Um, can you re-phrase the question? I don’t entirely understand the question.

Wasn’t the answer the Pharisees gave an answer that served both human and divine justice? And then the second part is what did Jesus mean when he said

‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; by the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes’?

So my question for the second part is how does this response prove that the Kingdom of Heaven would be taken from people like the Pharisees and given to others more worthy?

The answer the Pharisees gave condemned themselves. Israel’s leaders, like the evil tenants, had killed all the messengers (the prophets). And the Pharisees, Israel’s tenants during Jesus’ time, were fixing to kill the king’s own son.

Hence, the king was going to get rid of the evil tenants (the Pharisees) and replace them with new Tenants (the Apostles and the New Church). Divine Justice, indeed!

So my question for the second part is how does this response prove that the Kingdom of Heaven would be taken from people like the Pharisees and given to others more worthy?

The stone which the builders rejected, was from a Psalm, although I forget which one.

The Psalm deals with the time in Ezra and Nehemiah when the Jews were allowed to return to Jerusalem and build a new temple. When the foundation was laid, the Jews started mourning because the new Temple was so much smaller than the original. It was prophecied in the referenced Psalm, that the Temple would be far greater than the original Temple. In the new Church, the Temple that was rejected by the builders, Jesus, is the cornerstone of the New Church.

Thank you for the explaination, it was clear and understandable. I never caught that Jesus was talking about the Pharisees in this parable until now.

*Hi, Flavius!

…one more thing that we can take from this particular Biblical passage: though the chief priests and the Pharisees clearly understood that Jesus was making a direct reference to them their resolve was not to repent and follow Him… they simply thought that they should get rid of Him (thusly they reinforced Jesus’ Words: the Stone rejected by the builders is the Corner Stone!); these highly educated and religious men chose to reject God rather than repent from their error.

Maran atha!

Angel*

This is part of a class I did at my Church. Maybe it will bring more of the parable to light:

*** 33 "Hear another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard***, put a hedge around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a tower. 

Before we continue, let’s take a quick look at Isaiah, chapter 5:1-2:*** My friend had a vineyard on a fertile hillside; 2 He spaded it, cleared it of stones, and planted the choicest vines***; Within it he built a watchtower, and hewed out a wine press. Then he looked for the crop of grapes, but what it yielded was wild grapes. (Note - The wild grapes would have been bad for making wine).

The echoes of this song from Isaiah would have to be ringing in the Pharisees ears as Jesus begins His parable. The Pharisees know from Isaiah 5:7 that this parable is talking of Judea. In verse 7, Isaiah explains what the vineyard and the wild grapes are - The vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah are his cherished plant – but the Pharisees know that Jesus can’t be talking of them, because they haven’t fallen into the same sins of idolatry which Israel had fallen into during Isaiah’s time. Of course, Jesus is going to throw them another curve. He doesn’t continue this parable with tales of bad plants, but bad tenants of the field.

Continued

***Then he leased it to tenants and went on a journey.  34 When vintage time drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants to obtain his produce.  35 But the tenants seized the servants and one they beat, another they killed, and a third they stoned.  36 Again he sent other servants, more numerous than the first ones, but they treated them in the same way.  ***

Now, the tenants, of course, are the Pharisees and all the previous leaders of Israel. But who are the servants?

***37 ******Finally, he sent his son to them, thinking, ‘They will respect my son.’ 38 But when the tenants saw the son, they said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and acquire his inheritance.’ 39 They seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. 40 What will the owner of the vineyard do to those tenants when he comes?" 41 They answered him, “He will put those wretched men to a wretched death and lease his vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the proper times.” ***

He will lease his vineyard to other tenants…… Who are those other tenants? This is a hard saying for those who don’t believe there is a visible church which includes people with authority. For that is what tenants do? They tend to the vineyard.

Continued…

Don’t worry, I’m almost finished!

***42 Jesus said to them, "Did you never read in the scriptures: 'The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; by the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes'?  43 Therefore, I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that will produce its fruit.***  44 (The one who falls on this stone will be dashed to pieces; and it will crush anyone on whom it falls.)"  45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they knew that he was speaking about them.  46 And although they were attempting to arrest him, they feared the crowds, for they regarded him as a prophet.” 

The “stone that the builders rejected” is a rather odd term, wouldn’t you say? It actually comes from Psalm 118:22. This psalm is believed to have been a reference to the rebuilding of the temple, described in Nehemiah. When the exiled Jews returned to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple (roughly 500BC), they mourned when they saw how small the new Temple was going to be, especially when compared to Solomon’s Temple. But the Jews were encouraged by the prophets, who explained that the Temple would someday be far greater than the original one. Jesus is hinting that He is the Temple that will far exceed the Temple built by Solomon.

Hope this helps.

Psalm 118:22
It is also cited as support for Jesus’ vindication and Resurrection in (Acts 4:10-11; 1 Pet 2:7)

It’s from Psalm 118.24 :slight_smile:

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