The Evil Tenant Farmers

“Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a watch-tower. Then he leased it to tenants and went to another country. When the harvest time had come, he sent his slaves to the tenants to collect his produce. But the tenants seized his slaves and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. Again he sent other slaves, more than the first; and they treated them in the same way. Finally he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.&sdquo; But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him and get his inheritance.&sdquo; So they seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him.”

(Mt 21:33-39; Mk 12:1-8; Lk 20:9-15)

The sense of this parable was clarified in chapter 1 – The necessity for the Coming of the Messiah. It deals with the coming of the Prophets of ancient times on earth, and lastly about the coming of the Son of God. The image of the landowner planting a vineyard with all facilities deployed shows the immense Love of the Creator for his creatures, offering everything needed in the material world which also constitutes the field for spiritual maturing. It is clear that those human beings (the Tenant farmers), did not behave as loyal administrators of the marvelous world standing at their disposal. They rejected the precursors and prophets of ancient times and lastly murdered the Son of God. Making a wrong use of the gift received, the free will, they acted against the order of the vineyard landowner.

The assassination of the Son of God was a possibility known by the Light, due to the low spiritual level of humanity at that time. A possibility which could be averted if the Message of Jesus had been welcomed into men hearts. Startled would be the one who still maintain his spirit open when he reads the unanimous interpretations condemning assassinations of the ancient Prophets as brutal crimes but not the murder of Jesus. The parable makes no difference between the two cases: on the contrary it shows clearly that the killing of the son of the landowner was an evil and perverse act unplanned, never desired. This was an aggravation over the first crimes. The vineyard workers respected not even the son of the owner as was expected, but just killed him. The death of the son was a barbaric crime. This is clear when, after the end of the parable, Jesus asked the audience their opinion and received their unequivocal and logical answer:

“Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants? They said to him, ‘He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the harvest time.&sdquo;”

(Mt 21:40,41)

Another outcome could not be expected. Following that, Jesus clarifies the consequences of the evil deeds:

“Jesus said unto them, ‘Have you never read in the Scriptures: The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord's doing, and it is amazing in our eyes? (1) Therefore I tell you, the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to people that produces the fruits of the Kingdom. The one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and it will crush anyone on whom it falls.’ ”

(Mt 21:42-44)

The Kingdom of God will only be accessed by those who produce good fruits, therefore the ones that have adjusted themselves to the Laws of Creation. Acting against those laws signifies falling over the corner stone (2) represented by Jesus, the Word incarnated (Check Acts 4:11); therefore “Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone” (Eph 2:20). He came from God to teach men how to comply with those laws. If these laws are disobeyed the respective person will just harm himself, break apart, because the stone will not shake at all. And if the stone falls over someone this will be reduced to dust, meaning that who acts against those laws will receive infallibly through the reciprocity his bad actions back. For those the cornerstone, the living law, will be “a rock one stumbles over” with which “many among them shall stumble; they shall fall and be broken; they shall be snared and taken” (Isaiah 8:15). Therefore the word: “happy is he whoever may not be stumbled in me.” (Luke 7:23).

On the other hand, the opposite effect, reserved for he who complies with the laws of Creation, was already noted by Isaiah: “A precious cornerstone, a sure foundation. Who trusts it will not panic. And I will make the justice the line, the righteousness the plummet” (Isaiah 28:16, 17). “Trust the justice of the law.” (Pv3:5).

  1. Jesus mention here psalm 118, verses 22 and 23. Return
  2. The corner stone, mainly on the base, maintain united two wall of the construction. Was used as a guide for other stones so all of them must to align with the corner stone of the foundation in a way the building could be erected. Return

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