Commentaries
English
Matthew
  
b) The Parable of the Wicked Vinedressers
(Matthew 21:33-41)
33“Hear another parable: There was a certain landowner who planted a vineyard and set a hedge around it, dug a winepress in it and built a tower. And he leased it to vinedressers and went into a far country.34Now when vintage- time drew near, he sent his servants to the vinedressers, that they might receive its fruit.35And the vinedressers took his servants, beat one, killed one, and stoned another.36Again he sent other servants, more than the first, and they did likewise to them.37Then last of all he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’38But when the vinedressers saw the son, they said among themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and seize his inheritance.’39So they took him, and cast him out of the vineyard and killed him.40Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those vinedressers?”41They said to Him, “He will destroy those wicked men miserably, and lease his vineyard to other vinedressers who will render to him the fruits in their seasons.” (Mark12:1-12, Luke20:9-19, Isaiah5:1-2, Matthew26:3-5, John1:11)


Christ warned his enemies by means of a parable about God’s love that exceeds all human measure. Having received no fruit, a vineyard owner on earth would probably not be as patient as the owner in the parable.
Yet, God has been good to the stubborn Jews for one thousand years. This goodness shows the greatness of His mercy and longsuffering. He has continually sent His messengers to a disobedient and covetous people, who rejected and killed them. God had surrounded His people with the protecting wall of the Mosaic Law, placing the temple and the altar as a winepress in the midst of it. But all those ordinances remained useless, for the hearts of the individuals were hardened and they did not want change.
God persevered in His goodness to them. He sent other servants, who were also abused. He sent them John the Baptist and they had him beheaded. He sent His disciples to prepare His way. O, the riches of the patience and forbearance of God in continuing this despised and persecuted ministry. In spite of that, however, they persisted in their wickedness. One sin makes way for another of the same kind. They that are drunk with the blood of the saints add drunkenness to thirst, and still cry, “give, give.”
At last, God sent His beloved Son. Christ was God’s last messenger. In Him, God Himself came to the earth to win the wicked through His great goodness. In this parable, Christ indirectly referred to Himself as the Son of God and His Father as the owner of the vineyard. He gave the Jewish delegation a clear answer as to the source of His authority. He insistently sought their submission to His Sonship and to God’s Fatherhood.
According to the parable, all of the vinedressers were led by the spirit of hell in their decision to kill the Son of God. It is a goal of Satan to destroy God and His followers. He has no mercy. His fruit is only hatred, hopelessness, and malice.
God’s love must, after all, destroy this evil spirit and those that walk after it. He will not offer His forgiveness endlessly. Today you live, and tomorrow you will die. Whoever rejects the Son of God chooses the way to hell, yet he who submits to the Son of God and serves Him faithfully and lovingly will enter the kingdom of the Father. What fruit of your life will you bring to Christ to express your thanks for His salvation and crucifixion?

Prayer
Heavenly Father, we glorify You and thank You for Your enduring love and for Your patience with the sons of Jacob. We take from them an assurance of Your mercy and goodness to us. We thank You for Your great kindness. At the same time we learn a lesson from the severe punishment on the Jews according to Your equity. From Your judgment against them, we understand that You will reject us if we do not repent, accept Your Son, and offer the fruit of our life to Him. Have mercy on us and help us to receive Jesus with joy and gladness, and to worship him as we worship You with joy and everlasting thanksgiving.
Question
What did you understand from the parable of the wicked vinedressers?