…And He began to tell the people this parable … (Luke 20:9a).
The representatives of the Jewish high court have been humiliated in front of the crowd. They just want to slink back to the high priest’s house, but Jesus isn’t done with them yet. Since they won’t be honest enough to say what they truly feel about John the Baptist, Jesus uses a parable that answers their original question and asserts His authority to carry on His ministry.
In His parable Jesus uses a few brush strokes to quickly paint a picture of God’s people. He planted them in the Promised Land, as a man would plant a vineyard. He lent His nation out to the priests and religious leaders, who should use His Word to tend His people and prepare them to serve one another and glorify God with their lives.
When the leaders failed to lead His people correctly, God sent servant-prophets to call them back to faithfully fulfill their work of leading the nation in repentance, faith and good works. But the leaders beat and mistreated the prophets and sent them away empty-handed. Finally, the owner sends His beloved Son-and they plot to kill Him.
The drama is intense. The leaders know Jesus is speaking about them, and their rage and fury grow, even as their hidden plan to murder God’s own Son is openly exposed by Jesus to all the pilgrims, who have gathered at the temple courts in Jerusalem.
THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You loved the Jewish leaders and used a parable they understood to reveal the enormity of what they were planning to do. Help me see my sins and run to You for forgiveness and peace. Amen.
*Thank you to Lutheran Hour Ministries for providing this devotion.