The Wicked Tenants Futurecast

And he began to speak to them in parables. “A man planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a pit for the winepress and built a tower, and leased it to tenants and went into another country.  2 When the season came, he sent a servant to the tenants to get from them some of the fruit of the vineyard.  3 And they took him and beat him and sent him away empty-handed.  4 Again he sent to them another servant, and they struck him on the head and treated him shamefully.  5 And he sent another, and him they killed. And so with many others: some they beat, and some they killed. 6 He had still one other, a beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’  7 But those tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’  8 And they took him and killed him and threw him out of the vineyard.  9 What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others.  10 Have you not read this Scripture:

“‘The stone that the builders rejected

has become the cornerstone;

11 this was the Lord’s doing,

and it is marvelous in our eyes’?”

12 And they were seeking to arrest him but feared the people, for they perceived that he had told the parable against them. So they left him and went away. (Mar 12:1-12 ESV)

Darden Caylor at Mercy Road Fellowship yesterday explained that the when the tenants see the son and decide to kill him, they have ownership of the vineyard in mind.  Kill the heir take the land for good, for the owner will be deprived of an heir.  We would all do well to ponder Jesus’ question in verse 9:  “What will the owner of the vineyard do?”  We know more about the owner’s response to the tenants than did the chief priests, scribes, and elders did that day.  The Lord made the “the stone that the builders rejected . . . the cornerstone.”  Translated into the narrative of the parable:

The Owner made alive again the heir whom the tenants killed.  The Owner appointed his resurrected son to be His own property manager and Representative.  Owner and Representative manage the property with this overriding mission:  to woo back the very tenants who beat and killed all of the Owner’s servants, even the Representative himself,  so that the former tenants and murderers and their progeny might be co-heirs of the Representative and owners of the vineyard, united inseparably to the Representative whom they killed, who now “lives to make intercession for them.” Heb. 7:25.

The former tenants are indeed replaced, but some like Saul / Paul reapply for the same post!  Maybe this is point at which, as always must happen, the analogical breaks down – but the new tenants (v. 9) must stand in solidarity with the old tenants in their responsibility for the son’s death in order to reap the reward of ownership that the son achieves for them as the Representative. It may take some time for me to search out these boundaries, but the preservation of a remnant (Rom. 9:27, 11:5) and all that grafting and engrafting are probably key.  Moving along to Romans 11 . . .

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