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The wicked husbandmen – a parable

Posted in Bible, Parables, Religion on Wednesday, 9 February 2011

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A series of very unlikely events takes place in a rich man’s vineyard leased out to several husbandmen. There is violence, disloyalty and a clear attempt by the workers to take over the flourishing vineyard and its fine produce. Jesus uses his tremendous gift for taking an apparently ordinary situation and exaggerating certain elements until the listener’s expectations are confounded and a fresh interpretation of the spiritual life and God’s intentions unfolds.

Rich man, picture, image, illustration

The servant tells his master that the workers have attacked him

The rich man returns from his travels and sends a servant for his dues. One man is beaten up, another stoned, another killed; he sends others and the same thing happens. So he decides to send his son, thinking these tenants will surely be on their best behaviour in that case, and show him due respect. But the tenants see him as the heir apparent to the vineyard, and they kill him in order to take his inheritance for themselves. Jesus asks his followers what the rich man should now do to those wicked men, and the import of the answer is simple: “The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof” (Matthew 21: 43). The slain son represents, of course, Jesus himself.

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