33 “Listen to another parable: There was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a winepress in it and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and moved to another place. 34 When the harvest time approached, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his fruit. 35 “The tenants seized his servants; they beat one, killed another, and stoned a third. 36 Then he sent other servants to them, more than the first time, and the tenants treated them the same way. 37 Last of all, he sent his son to them. ‘They will respect my son,’ he said. 38 “But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him and take his inheritance.’ 39 So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. 40 “Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” 41 “He will bring those wretches to a wretched end,” they replied, “and he will rent the vineyard to other tenants, who will give him his share of the crop at harvest time.” 42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: “‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes’[h]? 43 “Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. 44 Anyone who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.”[i]
Matthew 21:33 - 46
ESV - 33 Hear another parable. There was a master of a house who planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a winepress in it and built a tower and leased it to tenants, and went into another country. 34 When the season for fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants to get his fruit.
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This parable illustrates that the responsibility of propagating the kingdom of God would be taken from the Jews and given to the Gentiles (Mt. 21:43-46). Three kinds of leases were given: 1. Laborers received part of the crop. 2. Full rent was paid in money. 3. A portion was paid to the owner. Leases were for a year, for life, or were hereditary. This last was the kind here. It is not possible to make all the details fit into the common Jewish or Christian interpretations, such as giving meanings to the fence, tower, etc. The main teaching is clear and that is plainly stated in the point illustrated in Mt. 21:42-46. The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner. The Old Testament prophecy fulfilled in Matthew (Mt. 21:42; Ps. 118:22). This applies to Jesus and His rejection by the Jews, who, after a period of rejecting, will accept Him as their Messiah (Mt. 23:37-39 Rom. 11:25-29). Whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.Whoever throws himself on the mercy of Christ shall be broken and made contrite (Ps. 34:18; 51:17; 147:3), but whoever rejects His mercy shall be completely crushed (Greek: likmao (G3039), be scattered like chaff, Mt. 21:44; Lk. 20:18). This scattering like chaff refers to the dispersion of the nation (Lk. 21:24). The term "broken in pieces" refers to complete defeat and destruction in Isa. 8:9; Jer. 50:2; cp. Dan. 2:35,44-45.
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