The Story of Jesus

Wicked Tenants

"Listen to another story," Jesus said. "There was a man who planted a vineyard and fenced it in. After digging a winepress and building a watchtower, he hired farmers to take care of his vineyard while he was in another country.

"When harvest time came, the owner sent servants to the farmers to get some of the fruit. The farmers treated the 

servants roughly. They beat the first one and sent him away without any fruit. They threw stones at the second one and injured him. They even killed the third servant.

"Later the owner sent other servants, and the same thing happened.

At last the owner decided, I will send my son. They will respect him.'

"From the watchtower the farmers saw the son coming. They said to each other, 'The owner has sent his son. This vineyard will belong to him when his father dies. Let us kill the son and take this vineyard for our own.' And that is what they did."

Then Jesus asked, "When the owner returns, what will he do to those men?"

The people answered, "He will make them pay with their lives. Then he will hire better men to care for his vineyard. The new men will give him a share of the fruit that grows."

Jesus looked boldly at his enemies who were standing in the crowd. He told them, "The kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to another people who will show by their lives that they are the children of God."

The chief priests and scribes knew Jesus had accused them in the story he told. In their anger they would have seized him, but they were afraid of the crowd, for the people believed that Jesus was a prophet.

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