Matthew 21:33-41 NRSVue
33“Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a winepress in it, and built a watchtower. Then he leased it to tenants and went away. 34When the harvest time had come, he sent his slaves to the tenants to collect his produce. 35But the tenants seized his slaves and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. 36Again he sent other slaves, more than the first, and they treated them in the same way. 37Then he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 38But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him and get his inheritance.’ 39So they seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. 40Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” 41They said to him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the harvest time.”
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Some thoughts on this scripture
Jesus often confronts greed. Here greed causes death. In killing the owners' representatives, the tenants hope to steal the produce. Every hungry man or woman has had food stolen on them, because the food of the earth is for all. Allow prayer deepen again our desire that the poverty and hunger of the world become history, and pray for those who are doing their best to bring about a world of justice.
In prayer we often see things in a new way. Like the rejected stone which becomes the central or corner stone, some of our weaknesses and sins can be stepping stones to fuller and deeper life. There is a side to prayer which of itself strengthens and heals us; we know that nothing of the worst of life need be final. The Lord can turn weakness into compassion for others, and can bring us through darkness into light. God heals the broken-hearted.
Just as the landlord planted, protected, nourished and guarded his property so has God attended to my needs.
I think of how I am made to give glory to God. I give thanks as I realise that the goodness of God can be seen in my life. I ask forgiveness as I acknowledge that I, like the tenants in the parable, sometimes prefer to run things in my own way.