The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 136

Passion Week ~ Tuesday (continued)

In our last post, we examined the final days of Yeshua’s life and ministry. In this post, we walk with Yeshua as He returns to Yerushalayim for the final time.

The Parable of Two Sons

28 “But give me your opinion: a man had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’ 29 He answered, ‘I don’t want to’; but later, he changed his mind and went. 30 The father went to his other son and said the same thing. This one answered, ‘I will, sir,’; but he didn’t go. 31 Which of the two did what his father wanted?” “The first,” they replied. “That’s right!” Yeshua said to them. “I tell you that the tax collectors and prostitutes are going into the Kingdom of God ahead of you! 32 For Yochanan came to you showing the path to righteousness, and you wouldn’t trust him. The tax collectors and prostitutes trusted him, but you, even after you saw this, didn’t change your minds later and trust him. [1]

The first son symbolizes repentant sinners (i.e., the tax collectors and prostitutes (v. 32). The second son represents the religious leaders, who ultimately reject Yeshua (vv. 45–46).

The Parable of Murderous Tenants

Yeshua continued to speak to them in parables. “A man planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a pit for the wine press, and built a tower; then he rented it to tenant farmers and left. When harvest time came, he sent a servant to the tenants to collect his share of the crop from the vineyard. But they took him, beat him up, and sent him away empty-handed. So he sent another servant; this one they punched in the head and insulted. He sent another one, and him they killed; and so, with many others – some they beat up, others they killed. He had still one person left, a son whom he loved; in the end, he sent him to them, saying, ‘My son they will respect.’ But the tenants said to each other, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours!’ So they seized him, killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard. What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come, destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others! [2] When they heard this, they said, “Surely not!” [3]

A man planted a vineyard recalls the imagery of Isaiah 5:1–2 (compare Isaiah 5:7). Yeshua modifies this image by focusing on the role of the tenant farmers rather than the vineyard itself (compare Isaiah 5:12, Matt. 21:33-46, Luke 9-19). They killed… In the Tanakh, God condemns the people of Isra’el for rejecting His prophets.

The Rejected Stone

42 Yeshua said to them, “Haven’t you ever read in the Tanakh,

‘The very rock which the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone!
This has come from Adonai,
and in our eyes, it is amazing’?

43 Therefore, I tell you that the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to the kind of people that will produce its fruit!” 44 Whoever falls on this stone will be broken in pieces, but if it falls on him, he will be crushed to powder!” [4]

The rock is a quotation from Psalm 118:22–23; the rejected rock is Yeshua, who comes from God.

In our next, we continue to follow Yeshua into Yerushalayim for His Crucifixion by the end of the week.

Click here for the PDF version.

[1]  Mattityahu 21:28–32.
[2]  Mark 12:1–9.
[3]  Luke 20:16b.
[4]  Mattityahu 21:42-44 (Some manuscripts omit verse 44.)

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