Daily Word

2nd punch | Matthew 21:33-41

33 “Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard and put a wall around it and dug a wine press in it, and built a tower, and rented it out to tenant farmers and went on a journey [to another country]. 34 When the harvest time approached, he sent his servants to the tenants to get his [share of the] fruit. 35 But the tenants took his servants and beat one, and killed another, and stoned a third. 36 Again he sent other servants, more than the first time; and they treated them the same way.

37 Finally he sent his own son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son and have regard for him.’ 38 But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This [man] is the heir; come on, let us kill him and seize his inheritance.’ 39 So they took the son and threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. 40 Now when the owner of the vineyard comes back, what will he do to those tenants?” 41 They said to Him, “He will put those despicable men to a miserable end, and rent out the vineyard to other tenants [of good character] who will pay him the proceeds at the proper seasons.”

Matthew 21:33-41 (AMP)

Still to the religious leaders

Jesus continues with another parable directed to the religious leaders. In the previous passage, He told a parable relating to their lack of true faith in action. Here, He uses a parable of a landowner to clearly communicate they have not only strayed from the truth, they have rejected the Father and now are preparing to kill His Son.

The right hook

This is punch #2 of a 1-2 punch. And He didn’t “pull any punches” with them. “The [landowner] treats the messengers in the most barbarous and truculent manner: beating, killing, stoning to death; highly improbable in the natural sphere, but another instance in which parables have to violate the natural probability in order to describe truly men’s conduct in the spiritual sphere.” (Bruce quoted by enduringword.com) The religious leaders had egregiously violated God’s laws and led others astray in the process.

Uppercase letters

We may wonder why verse 33 has upper case words in part of it. This is because Jesus was quoting from the OT. which, “reminds the reader that Jesus knew and believed on these writings, using them to assert His own position.” (neilenglish.net) Here, Jesus is referencing a few OT analogies about farmers and vineyards representing Israel – (Deuteronomy 32:32, Psalm 80:8, Jeremiah 2:21, and especially Isaiah 5:1-7). 


  • Though we need to be careful about confronting people who are not walking in the faith, we still need to, when appropriate and prompted. We do it humbly with prayer and love, considering others better than ourselves. There will be times we need to follow Jesus’ example and exercise tough love for the benefit of the other person. 

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