Then he began to talk to them in parables. “A man once planted a vineyard,” he said, “fenced it round, dug out the hole for the wine-press and built a watch-tower. Then he let it out to some farm-workers and went abroad. At the end of the season he sent a servant to the tenants to receive his share of the vintage. But they got hold of him, knocked him about and sent him off empty-handed. The owner tried again. He sent another servant to them, but this one they knocked on the head and generally insulted. Once again he sent them another servant, but him they murdered. He sent many others and some they beat up and some they murdered. He had one man left—his own son who was very dear to him. He sent him last of all to the tenants, saying to himself, ‘They will surely respect my own son.’ But they said to each other, ‘This fellow is the future owner—come on, let’s kill him, and the property will be ours! So they got hold of him and murdered him, and threw his body out of the vineyard. What do you suppose the owner of the vineyard is going to do? He will come and destroy the men who were working his vineyard and will hand it over to others. Have you never read this scripture—‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?’”
“What do you think the owner of the vineyard will do? Right. He’ll come and clean house. Then he’ll assign the care of the vineyard to others. Read it for yourselves in Scripture: That stone the masons threw out is now the cornerstone! This is God’s work; we rub our eyes—we can hardly believe it!”
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