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The Wicked Husbandmen
Then Jesus began to speak to the people, if not the rulers, in parables:
Hear another parable:
There was a man who was the head of a household who planted a vineyard and put a hedge around it, dug a pit for the wine press and built a tower. He leased it out to a tenant. He left and went into another country where he stayed for a long time.
When the season was right, he sent one of his servants to collect the rent.
Instead of paying him, the tenants beat the servant and sent him away empty-handed.
He then sent another servant, who the tenants treated even worse than the first servant.
He sent a third servant, who the tenants killed.
The man sent more servants, but every servant the man sent was either killed, stoned or beaten by the tenants.
Finally the lord of the vineyard sent his son. Surely they will respect the son of the lord of the vineyard.
When the tenants saw the son coming they reasoned that if they killed the son they could steal his inheritance and take the vineyard for themselves.
So they took the lord’s son, threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.
Jesus asked his listeners:
When the lord of the vineyard comes, what will he do to the tenants?
Some of the people answered:
He will utterly destroy them and all who serve him and lease the vineyard out to another.
Jesus looked at them and said:
What is written? Have you never heard the Scripture:
The stone which the builders rejected was made the head cornerstone. This was from the Lord, and it is marvelous in our eyes.
I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation that produces fruit. Everyone who falls on this stone will be broken in pieces, and anyone the stone falls on will be pulverized into dust.
When the Pharisees heard Jesus say this, they tried to arrest him. They understood that he had told the parable as a way of turning the people against them.
But the fear of the crowd, who thought Jesus was a prophet, kept the Pharisees from carrying out their plans to arrest Jesus.
The religious leaders left Jesus and went away.