33 “Hear another parable: There was a certain landowner who planted a vineyard and set a hedge around it, dug a winepress in it and built a tower. And he leased it to vinedressers and went into a far country. 34 Now when vintage-time drew near, he sent his servants to the vinedressers, that they might receive its fruit. 35 And the vinedressers took his servants, beat one, killed one, and stoned another. 36 Again he sent other servants, more than the first, and they did likewise to them. 37 Then last of all he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 38 But when the vinedressers saw the son, they said among themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and seize his inheritance.’ 39 So they took him and cast him out of the vineyard and killedhim.
40 “Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those vinedressers?”
41 They said to Him, “He will destroy those wicked men miserably, and lease hisvineyard to other vinedressers who will render to him the fruits in their seasons.”
42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures:
‘The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone.
This was the Lord’s doing,
And it is marvelous in our eyes’’?
This parable is a thinly veiled account of the story of creation, the fall, the history of Israel and redemption. The chief priests and the Pharisees, to whom Jesus addressed his remarks, were no doubt aware of the description of the unproductive vineyard in Is. 5:1-7. They certainly know about the treatment given to the prophets. This was done so often to God’s messengers who called the people to repent and return to God.
Now, the Father had taken the final step. He had not just send words of Wisdom but Wisdom itself, His only Son, proclaiming the same message – that they return back to the Lord. They very first words of Jesus’ public ministry were a call to repentance (Mt.4:17; Mk 1:15), but the people ignored Jesus just as they did the prophets before Him. They rejected the cornerstone, risked having the kingdom taken from them and given to others who were prepared to listen.
There is a very important message in this for all of us. If we do not listen to Jesus telling us to turn our hearts to God and reform our lives the kingdom will be taken from us. Our hearts will become so hardened that we will be unable to recognise the wisdom of God and the kingdom will pass us by.
The chief priests and Pharisees perceived that Jesus was speaking about them and saw him as a threat to their way of life. Their reaction was to try to remove him from the scene. Will you respond to Jesus’ call by seeking to remove Him from your life? St. Paul says, “Behold! Now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:2). Let us begin anew. (Sept. 1 is the beginning of the church year). Let us begin now.
“Father, I thank you that in Your great love you have given us Your words of wisdom. I thank you especially for Your blessed Son, the wisdom of God, Jesus Christ. I want Him to be the cornerstone of my life. Through the power of the Spirit may this new church year be the acceptable time – the time of my salvation.