2/3/16 The Wicked Laborers

“The wealthy man sent another group of servants, twice as many as before.  But the day laborers simply beat them all and chased them away.  The man was puzzled.  ‘Perhaps they are insulted that I have not come myself.  I will send my son.  They will have to respect my son!’  But when the man’s son went to the vineyard, the laborers saw an opportunity to take over the estate.  ‘This is the heir!  If we kill him, the estate will be ours!’ they said.  And they did just that.  They beat and killed the wealthy man’s son.  Now, what do you think the wealthy man will do to these wicked people when he returns?”  The Temple priests and officials are wary, because of the way Jesus turned the last story around to insult them.  But this, too, seems pretty simple, so they answer, “He will have those wicked men imprisoned and will find honorable workers to tend the vines and give him the fruit at harvest time.”  Jesus nods.  “The vineyard represents the kingdom of Israel.  The fence represents the Law of Moses that separates the Jews from the rest of the world.  The pit dug for pressing the grapes into wine represents the fruit of the people of Israel, their good works as a result of their devotion to God.  The high tower represents the political aspect of the capitol city of Jerusalem.  The day laborers represent the leaders of Israel, to whom the care of the kingdom has been entrusted.  The wealthy man going away represents the time of Moses, when the children of Israel came into the land of Canaan, possessed it for themselves, and began to make a country of their own.  The wealthy man represents God, and the son represents the Messiah.”


Matthew 21:36-41, Mark 12:4-9, Luke 20:11-16a, http://biblehub.com/commentaries/ellicott/matthew/21:33.htm


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