Matt. 21:33-45, “…But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and have his inheritance.’… When therefore 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 let out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits in their seasons.”… Therefore I tell you, the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits… When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they perceived that he was speaking about them.”
- It is noticeable, and clearly planned as well, that the further along Jesus’ ministry gets, and the closer to His work being completed, that the more and more open and obvious and accusational against the Old Covenant (OC) Hebrew religious body we see Him become.
- Here we have the Lord unequivocally making known to all in His audience of their entire history of killing the Lord’s servants, and now even predicting right to them that He was going to be killed by them as well. Even thought they were blinded from their hardness, as spoken of in Matt. 13, quoting from back in Isaiah 6 we will recall, they were able to understand some of this, as in vs. 45 they realize that He was speaking of them.
- Do we see again in vs. 42 Jesus quoting the passage we looked at earlier from Isaiah chapter 28. Jesus said this prophecy was being fulfilled by them right there in their time. They were the builders – and they were the ones rejecting the chief cornerstone. And if we also recall from that passage in Isaiah, that was contained within the same timeframe of when the terrible scourge was shortly going to come and judge them.
- Look back at Matt. 21:41. Here is a section that too can be missed if we are not being an OC Hebrew in His audience, and understanding our language nuances, idioms, and familiar OC references.
** We see this whole parable using the terminology of a vineyard. As always, it is not used by the Holy Spirit for any accident or random purpose. Let’s go back to the Old Covenant to see how God spoke in reference to this in order to put better perspective on what is being said:
Isa. 5:1-7, “Let me sing for my beloved my love song concerning his vineyard: He dug it and cleared it of stones, and planted it with choice vines; he built a watchtower in the midst of it, and hewed out a wine vat in it; and he looked for it to yield grapes, but it yielded wild grapes. And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah, judge between me and my vineyard. What more was there to do for my vineyard, that I have not done in it?…And now I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard. I will remove its hedge, and it shall be devoured. I will break down its wall, and it shall be trampled down. I will make it a waste; it shall not be pruned or hoed, and briers and thorns shall grow up; I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it. For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel…”
[For a more in-depth study see eschatology “Study Series 6 Old Covenant Hebrews in the New Testament Times”]
[For a more in-depth study see eschatology “Study Series 14 Lesson 5 Resurrection: 2 Thessalonians 1]