“Here’s another story. Listen closely.” Matthew 21:33
Jesus had a way of telling parables by using characters to portray people in his audience. The story today is about the wealthy father (God), who planted a vineyard (Israel) and fenced it in, dug a winepress, and then put up a watchtower before turning it over to the farmhands (the Jewish leaders). The farmer trusted the farmhands to care for the vineyard and went on vacation. When it was time to harvest the grapes, he sent his servants (faithful followers) to collect the money.
However, the farmhands intercepted the first servant and beat him up. The next servant lost his life. The farmhands pummeled rocks at the third servant. Finally, after many attempts to collect the money, the farmer sent his own son (Jesus) to collect the money. The farmhands had no respect for God’s son and killed him too.
We know the rest of the story–the Jewish leaders got the message. They knew Jesus was talking about them and were ready to put him away. Sometimes I talk in stories too, because its an easier way to get a point across, and if the “shoe” fits, wear it.
God, thank you for the stories that help us learn about Jesus. Amen.