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33 “Now listen to this story: A certain landowner planted a vineyard with a hedge around it, and built a platform for the watchman, then leased the vineyard to some farmers on a sharecrop basis, and went away to live in another country.

34 “At the time of the grape harvest he sent his agents to the farmers to collect his share. 35 But the farmers attacked his men, beat one, killed one, and stoned another.

36 “Then he sent a larger group of his men to collect for him, but the results were the same. 37 Finally the owner sent his son, thinking they would surely respect him.

38 “But when these farmers saw the son coming, they said among themselves, ‘Here comes the heir to this estate; come on, let’s kill him and get it for ourselves!’ 39 So they dragged him out of the vineyard and killed him.

40 “When the owner returns, what do you think he will do to those farmers?”

41 The Jewish leaders replied, “He will put the wicked men to a horrible death and lease the vineyard to others who will pay him promptly.”

42 Then Jesus asked them, “Didn’t you ever read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone rejected by the builders has been made the honored cornerstone;[a] how remarkable! what an amazing thing the Lord has done’?

43 “What I mean is that the Kingdom of God shall be taken away from you, and given to a nation that will give God his share of the crop.[b] 44 All who stumble on this rock of truth[c] shall be broken, but those it falls on will be scattered as dust.”

45 When the chief priests and other Jewish leaders realized that Jesus was talking about them—that they were the farmers in his story— 46 they wanted to get rid of him but were afraid to try because of the crowds, for they accepted Jesus as a prophet.

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Footnotes

  1. Matthew 21:42 the honored cornerstone, literally, “the head of the corner.”
  2. Matthew 21:43 that will give God his share of the crop, literally, “bringing forth the fruits.”
  3. Matthew 21:44 on this rock of truth, literally, “on this stone.”

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