Jesus’ parables have layer upon layer of meaning within them, and today’s story about the vineyard owner has quite the cast of characters.
Let’s search for where we are in this parable, and where we’d like to be.
So the basic plot elements are as follows: the vineyard owner plants a vineyard and works quite hard at making it state of the art. There is a fence, a winepress, and a watchtower.
Then he entrusts it to this group of tenants and leaves the country.
These tenants appear to have been a very bad investment, however. They are angry, violent, greedy people.
Each time the landowner sends his slaves to bring in the harvest, they are beaten and killed by the tenants.
Not even the vineyard owner’s son escapes the same fate.
Jesus ends the story asking what will happen to the wicked tenants when the vineyard owner confronts them, and the chief priests and Pharisees predict a sticky end for them.
As we begin to mine the text for meaning and guidance, we are of course to begin by placing ourselves in the role of the tenants.
It’s not a very flattering picture of ourselves, but let’s explore it.
Of course we do not go around beating and murdering people.
But do we always welcome with open arms the people and situations God sends into our lives? Continue reading