The Parable of the Tenants:

This parable was told to the religious elders, chief priests, scribes and Pharisees who disputed the teachings of Jesus and resented Him entering the temple. This parable symbolizes the LORD God, who Jesus is, His purpose, and what He could foresee.
Matthew 21:33-45; Mark 12:1-12; Luke 20:9-19

It was the chief priests and the scribes that came upon Jesus with the elders who demanded to know by what authority Jesus does the things He does. Jesus tells this parable in response to where he gets his authority. Instead of answering the question Jesus says; Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and dug a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country:

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 the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another.

Again, the householder sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise. The husbandmen last of all sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son.

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. And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him.
When the lord therefore of the vineyard, the householder, comes, what will he do unto those husbandmen?

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.

Jesus said unto the chief priests and the scribes and the elders: “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?” Matthew 21:42

Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.

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

What Can Be Learned From This Lesson?

We find the chief priests and Pharisees with the elders coming to Jesus demanding to know by what authority Jesus does the things He does. They are still trying to trick Jesus. They think if the people see the truth about Him they would turn against Jesus and His teachings.

The parable is about a householder, or the master of the house, who plants a vineyard and then builds a hedge around it. A hedge is like a fence which separates and would protect the vineyard from the animals and people who would destroy it before it had a chance to grow.

This master of the house also dug a winepress which is a trench where the grapes are trodden. He also built a tower that was fortified to repel any hostile attacks and enables a watchman to see in every direction. The master of the house did everything he could do to protect his vineyard before he went into a far country.

When it came time to harvest the fruit the master of the house sent his servants to gather it. The parable speaks of the husbandman who is a farmer or a vine dresser. They took the servants and beat one and killed another and stoned yet another.

Again the master of the house sent out more servants and the same happened. Then the master of the house sent his son thinking the farmer, husbandmen, would respect him and gives the fruit that belongs to him. The master of the house was wrong they killed his son.

Jesus asked the Pharisees and chief priests what they thought the master of the house would do to the husbandmen. They knew that they would be destroyed. Then the Pharisees and chief priests realized that Jesus had been speaking about them.
The landowner – represents the LORD God
The vineyard – His Kingdom
The tenants – specifically Israel’s religious leaders and all who reject Jesus
The servants The prophets and faithful believers of the LORD God
The beloved son – Jesus Christ

Cite Article Source

MLA Style Citation:

Holstein, Joanne “The Parable of the Tenants:.” Becker Bible Studies Library Jan 2015.<,>.

APA Style Citation:
Holstein, Joanne (2015, January) “The Parable of the Tenants:.” Becker Bible Studies Library. Retrieved from,.

Chicago Style Citation:
Holstein, Joanne (2015) “The Parable of the Tenants:.” Becker Bible Studies Library (January),, (accessed).

Joanne Holstein is a Becker Bible Studies Teacher and Author of Guided Bible Studies for Hungry Christians. She is a graduate of Psychology/Christian and Bible Counseling with Liberty University. She is well-known as a counselor to Christian faithful who are struggling with tremendous burden in these difficult times. She is a leading authority on historical development of Christian churches and the practices and beliefs of world religions and cults.

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