Matthew 21:33-46New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
The Story of the Renters
33 “Listen to another story. A man who owned some land planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it. He dug a pit for a winepress in it. He also built a lookout tower. He rented the vineyard out to some farmers. Then he moved to another place. 34 When harvest time approached, he sent his slaves to the renters. He told the slaves to collect his share of the fruit.
35 “But the renters grabbed his slaves. They beat one of them. They killed another. They threw stones at the third to kill him. 36 Then the man sent other slaves to the renters. He sent more than he did the first time. The renters treated them the same way. 37 Last of all, he sent his son to them. ‘They will respect my son,’ he said.
38 “But the renters saw the son coming. They said to one another, ‘This is the one who will receive all the owner’s property someday. Come, let’s kill him. Then everything will be ours.’ 39 So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard. Then they killed him.
40 “When the owner of the vineyard comes back, what will he do to those renters?”
41 “He will destroy those evil people,” they replied. “Then he will rent the vineyard out to other renters. They will give him his share of the crop at harvest time.”
42 Jesus said to them, “Haven’t you ever read what the Scriptures say,
“ ‘The stone the builders didn’t accept has become the most important stone of all. The Lord has done it. It is wonderful in our eyes’? (Psalm 118:22,23)
43 “So here is what I tell you. The kingdom of God will be taken away from you. It will be given to people who will produce its fruit. 44 Anyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces. But the stone will crush anyone it falls on.”
45 The chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus’ stories. They knew he was talking about them. 46 So they looked for a way to arrest him. But they were afraid of the crowd. The people believed that Jesus was a prophet.
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