Jesus was constantly getting under the skin of the religious leaders and scholars. At the conclusion of the story Jesus tells, they wanted to stone him.
Why this level of hate of Jesus by the religious leaders? Jesus saw what was in their heart, pointed it out clearly, and wouldn’t back down. They were constantly being embarrassed and the people loved Jesus.
What does this mean for me? I must be careful not to have the heart of the religious leaders. God is God. He will give his kingdom (country) to whomever he wants to. My commitment to Jesus, regardless of the consequences to me, must be unwavering. I can’t be saying, Jesus would never do that. Jesus is in complete control and will do what he sees is necessary for justice.
“What do you think the owner of the vineyard will do? Jesus is clear he is going to take the vineyard away (from the religious leaders) and give it to someone else. This is serious stuff. Have our churches today become complacent? Will Jesus give his vineyard to someone else? It can happen.
Jesus asks “Why, then, do you think this was written?” I must be prepared to answer. Jesus wants an answer. It isn’t sufficient to say Jesus isn’t serious. Jesus is dead serious. I must be careful in what I listen to from the religious leaders. Jesus is the source of all truth. Jesus is the way to God, not the church.
Jesus told another story to the people: “A man planted a vineyard. He handed it over to farmhands and went off on a trip. He was gone a long time. In time he sent a servant back to the farmhands to collect the profits, but they beat him up and sent him off empty-handed. He decided to try again and sent another servant. That one they beat black-and-blue, and sent him off empty-handed. He tried a third time. They worked that servant over from head to foot and dumped him in the street.
“Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘I know what I’ll do: I’ll send my beloved son. They’re bound to respect my son.’
“But when the farmhands saw him coming, they quickly put their heads together. ‘This is our chance—this is the heir! Let’s kill him and have it all to ourselves.’ They killed him and threw him over the fence.
“What do you think the owner of the vineyard will do? Right. He’ll come and clean house. Then he’ll assign the care of the vineyard to others.”
Those who were listening said, “Oh, no! He’d never do that!”
But Jesus didn’t back down. “Why, then, do you think this was written:
That stone the masons threw out—
It’s now the cornerstone!?
“Anyone falling over that stone will break every bone in his body; if the stone falls on anyone, it will be a total smashup.”
The religion scholars and high priests wanted to lynch him on the spot, but they were intimidated by public opinion. They knew the story was about them.
Source: Luke 20:9-19 (The Message)