He began to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard, and leased it to tenants, and went to another country for a long time. When the season came, he sent a slave to the tenants in order that they might give him his share of the produce of the vineyard; but the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. Next he sent another slave; that one also they beat and insulted and sent away empty-handed. And he sent still a third; this one also they wounded and threw out. Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him.’ But when the tenants saw him, they discussed it among themselves and said, ‘This is the heir; let us kill him so that the inheritance may be ours.’ So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others.” When they heard this, they said, “Heaven forbid!” But he looked at them and said, “What then does this text mean: ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone’? Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces; and it will crush anyone on whom it falls.” When the scribes and chief priests realized that he had told this parable against them, they wanted to lay hands on him at that very hour, but they feared the people. (Luke 20:9-19, NRSV)
I always laugh when I read this story. Not because it is funny what the tenants do, killing is not funny, but because of what they are thinking.
The owner sent a slave to get what the tenants owed him as the owner of the vineyard. And they beat him and sent him away. And they did this 2 more times. The owner desperate to get what belongs to him sends his son and the tenants see the son coming and think that if they kill him, then they will have the vineyard for themselves. Really? the owner is not dead, how does killing his son make you think you will get anything?
But isn’t that really how all of us act. This life I have is mine and no one can tell me what to do with it. And God sent His servant, and we ignored them and sent them away. When God sent them to us to get what is His, and more times this happens…
Do we want to give Him what is His?
Do we really think this is mine?