Matthew 21:33-46

Sunday, August 13th, 2017

JESUS’ PARABLE OF THE HOUSEHOLDER

WHO PLANTED A VINEYARD

INTRODUCTION:

 

The Problems of the King includes the narrative about Jesus (19:3 - 23:39), the Olivet Discourse (24:1 - 25:46), and the concluding statement, Matthew 26:1-2(1) And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said unto his disciples, (2) Ye know that after two days is the feast of the Passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.

 

The narrative about Jesus in chapter 21 includes His triumphal entry (21:1-11), His driving the traders from the temple (21:12-17), His comments regarding the barren fig tree (21:18-22), His authority challenged by the chief priests and elders (21:23-27), His parable of the two sons (21:28-32), and His parable of the householder who planted a vineyard (21:33-46).

We see that –

    I.     JESUS INTRODUCES A PARABLE ABOUT A MAN PLANTING A VINEYARD AND LEASING IT TO OTHERS BEFORE GOING INTO A FAR COUNTRY – 21:33

 

Matthew 21:33 Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country.

 

Hear another parable is listen to another parable of the same kind.

 

It is a story which is intended to teach a truth.

 

There was a certain householder is a certain man was a householder (i.e. a master of the house or landowner).

 

Who planted a vineyard adds an additional fact about this householder.

 

And hedged it round about is and put (or placed) a hedge (or fence) around it (i.e. around his vineyard).

 

And digged a winepress in it is and dug a winepress in it (i.e. in the vineyard).

 

And built a tower indicates that he built something which was elevated so that someone could watch over the vineyard.

 

And let it out to husbandmen is and leased it to vinedressers (or tenant farmers).

 

And went into a far country is simply and went away.

We also see that –

  II.     WHEN IT WAS TIME TO HARVEST THE GRAPES, THE LANDOWNER SENT SERVANTS TO THE TENANTS TO COLLECT HIS FRUIT – 21:34

 

Matthew 21:34 And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it.

 

And when the time of the fruit drew near is and when the time of the fruit came near (or approached).

 

The time of the fruit refers to the time to harvest the grapes or the time when the fruit was ripe.

 

He sent his servants to the husbandmen is he (i.e. the householder, the master of the house, or the landowner) sent his slaves to the vinedressers (or tenant farmers).

 

That they might receive the fruits of it is to receive its (or his) fruit.

Next, we see that –

 III.     THE TENANTS BEAT ONE OF THE LANDOWNER’S SERVANTS, KILLED A SECOND ONE, AND STONED A THIRD ONE – 21:35

 

Matthew 21:35 And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another.

 

And the husbandmen is and the vinedressers (or the tenant farmers).

 

Took may instead be understood in the sense of after they took (i.e. seized or forcibly seized).

 

His servants is the landowner’s slaves.

 

And beat one, and killed another, and stoned another indicates how they mistreated the landowner’s slaves: they beat or whipped one of them, killed or murdered a second one, and stoned or threw stones at a third one.

 

Although people were sometimes stoned to death, it does not necessarily mean that this third slave died as a result of his injuries.

In addition, we see that –

 IV.     THE LANDOWNER SENT OTHER SERVANTS WHO WERE LIKEWISE MISTREATED – 21:36

 

Matthew 21:36 Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise.

 

Again suggests once more.

 

He sent other servants means that the landowner, the householder, or the master of the house sent other slaves of the same kind.

 

More than the first means that the landowner sent more slaves than he had sent the first time when he sent three.

 

And they did unto them likewise means that they treated this second group of slaves in the same way they had treated the previous three.

We furthermore see that –

   V.           FINALLY, THE LANDOWNER SENT HIS SON, EXPECTING THAT THE TENANTS WOULD RESPECT HIS SON – 21:37

 

Matthew 21:37 But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son.

 

But introduces a statement in mild contrast to his sending slaves.

 

It may instead transition to the next thought in the parable in the sense of then or so.

 

Last of all suggests finally.

 

He (i.e. the landowner, the householder, or the master of the house) sent to them (i.e. to the vinedressers or the tenant farmers) his son.

 

Saying introduces what the landowner was saying when he sent his son: they will reverence my son, which suggests, they (i.e. the vinedressers or the tenant farmers) will respect (or have regard for) my son.

Moreover, we see that –

 VI.     WHEN THE TENANTS SAW THE LANDOWNER’S SON, THEY DETERMINED TO KILL HIM AND SEIZE HIS INHERITANCE – 21:38

 

Matthew 21:38 But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance.

 

But transitions to the reaction of the tenant farmers when they realized that the landowner had sent his son in the sense of then or now.

 

When the husbandmen saw the son may instead be understood in the sense of after (or because) the tenant farmers (or vinedressers) saw the son.

 

They said among themselves is they said to each other (or to one another).

 

What they said is, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance.

 

This is the heir suggests this one (or he) is the heir. Somehow they recognized who he was, but how they recognized it is not clear.

 

Come, let us kill him is come on, let’s murder him (i.e. let’s murder the son, let’s murder the heir of the estate).

 

And let us seize on his inheritance suggests and let’s possess his inheritance.

Then we see that –

VII.     THE TENANTS CAUGHT THE LANDOWNER’S SON, THREW HIM OUT OF THE VINEYARD, AND KILLED HIM – 21:39

 

Matthew 21:39 And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him.

 

And they caught him may be understood in the sense of and after they caught him (i.e. after they laid hands on him {or seized him}).

 

And cast him out of the vineyard is they drove (him) out of the vineyard.

 

And slew him is and killed (him).

We also see that –

VIII.   JESUS ASKS WHAT THE LANDOWNER WILL DO TO THE TENANTS WHEN HE COMES TO HIS VINEYARD – 21:40

 

Matthew 21:40 When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen?

 

Therefore is consequently or so.

 

When the lord . . . of the vineyard cometh is whenever the lord (i.e. the owner) of the vineyard comes.

 

It implies that he will definitely come but that the time of his coming is uncertain.

 

What will he do unto those husbandmen? is what will he do to those tenant farmers (or vinedressers)?

We also see that –

 IX.     THE CHIEF PRIESTS AND ELDERS ANSWER THAT THE LANDOWNER WILL DESTROY THE WICKED TENANTS AND LEASE HIS VINEYARD TO OTHER TENANTS WHO WILL GIVE HIM HIS SHARE OF THE FRUIT WHEN IT IS READY – 21:41

 

Matthew 21:41 They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons.

 

They say unto him means they (i.e. the chief priests and elders of the people) say to Him (i.e. to Jesus).

 

He will miserably destroy those wicked men is he (i.e. the landowner) will utterly destroy those wicked ones.

 

Those wicked men refers to the tenant farmers or vinedressers.

 

And will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen is and will lease the vineyard to other tenant farmers (or vinedressers).

 

Which shall render him the fruits in their seasons is who will give him the fruits in their seasons.

In addition, we see that –

   X.     JESUS ASKS THE CHIEF PRIESTS AND ELDERS IF THEY HAVE EVER READ Psalms 118:22-23 AND ADVISES THEM THAT THE KINGDOM OF GOD WILL BE TAKEN FROM THEM AND GIVEN TO A NATION WHICH WILL PRODUCE THE FRUITS OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD – 21:42-43

 

Matthew 21:42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?

 

Jesus saith unto them means that Jesus says to (or asks) the chief priests and elders of the people.

 

Did you never read in the scriptures? is a question whose structure in the Greek text indicates that it anticipates a positive answer.

 

It implies, At some time or other in the past you did read in the Scriptures, didn’t you? and implies, Yes, you did.

 

The scriptures refers to the Old Testament.

 

Jesus then quotes Psalms 118:22-23 .

 

Psalms 118:22-23 – (22) The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. (23) This is the LORD’S doing; it is marvellous in our eyes.

 

The stone which the builders rejected is a stone which the builders (or the masons) rejected.

 

It implies that the builders or masons had scrutinized this stone and declared it to be useless. They decided it was unworthy or unfit to be used in the building and, therefore, rejected it.

 

The same is become the head of the corner is this (stone) became (the) chief cornerstone or this (stone) has become the chief cornerstone, the most important stone in the building.

 

In Acts 4:11 Peter would state,

 

Acts 4:11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.

 

Peter would also write in I Peter 2:7 ,

 

I Peter 2:7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner.

 

This is the Lord’s doing is this came to pass (or has come to pass) from the Lord.

 

It means that it has been brought to pass by the Lord.

 

In Psalms 118:23 , LORD is in all capital letters, which means that is Yahweh or Jehovah.

 

And it is marvellous in our eyes suggests and it is wonderful (or amazing) in our eyes.

 

Matthew 21:43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.

 

Therefore is because of this and implies because the chief priests and elders had rejected Jesus as the Messiah.

 

They are like the tenant farmers in the parable Jesus has just spoken who would be destroyed and the vineyard leased to others.

 

Say I unto you introduces what Jesus is saying to the chief priests and elders of the people who are the official representatives of the nation of Israel.

 

What Jesus says is, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.

 

The kingdom of God is the realm over which God rules. It will include only saved people but will include both Jews and Gentiles though the majority of the Jews will find themselves excluded from the kingdom of God during the church age.

 

Shall be taken from you is predictive of something which will definitely happen. It means will be taken away from you or will be removed from you.

 

And given is and will be given.

 

To a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof is to a nation (or people) producing its fruits, i.e. fruits that are characteristic of God’s reign in their lives.

We furthermore see that –

 XI.     JESUS ALSO ADVISES THE CHIEF PRIESTS AND ELDERS THAT THOSE WHO FALL ON THIS CHIEF CORNERSTONE WILL BE BROKEN, BUT THOSE ON WHOM THE CHIEF CORNERSTONE FALLS WILL BE GROUND TO POWDER – 21:44

 

Matthew 21:44 And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.

 

And whosoever shall fall on this stone is and the one who falls on this stone.

 

Shall be broken is will be dashed to pieces.

 

But introduces a statement in mild contrast to the result for someone who falls on this stone.

 

On whomsoever it shall fall is on whomever it (i.e. the stone) falls.

 

It will grind him to powder is it will crush him.

We are not surprised to see that –

XII.     THE CHIEF PRIESTS AND PHARISEES REALIZED THAT JESUS SPOKE HIS PARABLES ABOUT THEM – 21:45

 

Matthew 21:45 And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them.

 

Well, they correctly perceived that He spoke about them. Consider the parallel. God chose Israel to be a people for Himself, but they strayed from Him. He sent prophets and other men of God to them to turn them around, but they refused. Finally, God sent His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, Whom they rejected and crucified outside Jerusalem. God subsequently destroyed Jerusalem about 40 years later in A.D. 70. He also set Israel aside temporarily and enabled many Gentiles to be saved.

 

And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his (i.e. Jesus’) parables suggests at the time that (or after) the chief priests and Pharisees heard His parables.

 

Parables implies all the parables Jesus spoke and is not limited to the last one.

 

They perceived is they knew, they understood, or they comprehended.

 

What they understood is that he spake of them, i.e. that Jesus was speaking about them.

Finally, we see that –

XIII.   ALTHOUGH THE CHIEF PRIESTS AND PHARISEES SOUGHT TO SEIZE JESUS, THEY WERE AFRAID OF THE CROWDS OF PEOPLE WHO REGARDED HIM AS A PROPHET – 21:46

 

Matthew 21:46 But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet.

 

But is the word which is ordinarily translated and.

 

When they sought to lay hands on him suggests while they (i.e. the chief priests and Pharisees) were seeking to seize (i.e. to apprehend or to arrest) Him (i.e. to arrest Jesus).

 

They feared the multitude is they (i.e. the chief priests and Pharisees) feared (or were afraid of) the crowds.

 

Because they took him for a prophet is because they (i.e. the crowds) held (i.e. were holding, were considering, were looking upon, or were viewing) Him as a prophet.

CONCLUSION:

 

Have you received Jesus Christ as your personal Savior from sin and it consequences?

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