Reading: Luke 20:9-18
And He began to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard and rented it out to vine-growers, and went on a journey for a long time. At the harvest time he sent a slave to the vine-growers, so that they would give him some of the produce of the vineyard; but the vine-growers beat him and sent him away empty-handed. And he proceeded to send another slave; and they beat him also and treated him shamefully and sent him away empty-handed. And he proceeded to send a third; and this one also they wounded and cast out. The owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him.’ But when the vine-growers saw him, they reasoned with one another, saying, ‘This is the heir; let us kill him so that the inheritance will be ours.’ So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What, then, will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and destroy these vine-growers and will give the vineyard to others.” When they heard it, they said, “May it never be!” But Jesus looked at them and said, “What then is this that is written: ‘The stone which the builders rejected, This became the chief corner stone’? Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will scatter him like dust.” [NASB1995®]
The Pharisees, priests and scribes’ rejection of Jesus is increasing. Their plans to silence Him are still maturing. The Lord shows clearly and forcefully who He is and what He has come to do.
Faced with the questions of the religious, Jesus tells a parable, in which we easily identify the vineyard as the people of God (see Isaiah 5:1-7), the tenants who reject the envoys of the owner as the Pharisees and priests, the envoys who suffered rejection as the prophets, and the son as Jesus himself.
Jesus makes it clear, in this way, that they are rejecting God with their commandments and traditions, and that they are blind guides. Those with great knowledge of the Scriptures understand perfectly what Jesus says, but the hardness of their hearts is greater, and so they get angry, even wanting to kill him.
Their traditions and human commandments, their prestige and social relevance, their pride, have increasingly alienated them from the living God whom they claim to love and serve. They are so far away that they reject the one who comes to fulfill all the promises given to Israel.
They have cast off Jesus, ignoring that He is the center of all God’s plans, so they are blind. What a tragedy it is that those who knew the Scriptures and understood better than anyone else the implications of Jesus, do not recognize Him as the Savior, but rather harden their hearts!
Rejecting Jesus has sad and inevitable consequences. Without Jesus, we are lost. To whom else can we turn? The Gospel is God’s plan, and there is no other; there is no plan B. The Gospel is sufficient.
But as John says (see John 3:18-19), if we reject Jesus, we are condemned; we love darkness, and therefore we reject light.
The answer to man’s sin, to his pain, his suffering, and his nonsense is Christ. It is the Gospel. Without Christ, the end of man is the most absolute hopelessness.
MEDITATE: Consider how many times it is so easy to put our trust in other things outside of Christ and the Gospel: things like our traditions, the currents and fashions of this world, our self-righteousness. Let us look to Christ every day. Let us remember the Gospel every day…
Scripture quotation taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Translation By: Emily Stader