The Wicked Tenants (Tuesday)

Jesus taught a series of parables throughout Holy Week. The Parable of the Wicked Tenants built off the Parable of the Two Sons that Jesus told in the 21st chapter of Matthew. In this parable, Jesus reminded the religious leaders that they weren’t practicing what they were preaching.


Jesus said, “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. When the harvest time approached, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his fruit. The tenants seized his servants…” - Matthew 21:33 (NIV)   


The tenants in the parable took advantage of the landowner's servants. They let their agenda cloud their judgement and they gave into greed. There are six key elements in this parable: 1) the landowner – God, 2) the vineyard - Israel, 3) the tenants – the Jewish religious leadership, 4) the landowner’s servants – the prophets who remained obedient and preached God’s word to the people of Israel, 5) the son – Jesus, and 6) the other tenants – the Gentiles.


Parables give us a spiritual insight into how God see's our hearts.  As Jesus continues to tell the story, he explains how the landowner finally sent his own son to the tenants, hoping they would respect and honor him instead.


“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?' 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. Anyone who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.” - Matthew 21:42 (NIV)


The Parable of the Wicked Tenants gives us an unprecedented look inside the heart of God. It invites us to feel His heart for saving the lost while continually offering mercy, grace and forgiveness. I think this truth is reinforced by the fact that this parable is found in Matthew, Mark and Luke's gospel. When the Bible repeats something multiple times, I believe God is trying to communicate something special.


As Holy Week continues to unfold before us, remember the truth that Jesus' mercy, grace and forgiveness are truly transformational!

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