The Parables of Jesus # 10
Husbandman
Also known as the Parable of the Vineyard
Matthew 21:33-46; Mark 12:1-11; Luke 20:9-18

Matthew 21:33-46
33. Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it
round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went
into a far country:
34. And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might
receive the fruits of it.
35. And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another.
36. Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise.
37. But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son.
38. But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us
kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance.
39. And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him.
40. When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen?
41. They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto
other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons.
42. Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the
same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?
43. Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation
bringing forth the fruits thereof.
44. And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind
him to powder.
45. And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of
them.
46. But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a
prophet.

Verse 33 - Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it
  round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into
  a far country:

  [A] A certain householder
          [1] The owner of the land
          [2] The head of the family
          [3] In this case, who is the landowner?
                  [a] God the Father

  [B] Planted a vineyard. - A place for the cultivation of grapes.
          [1] A vineyard is often used to represent the church of God,
                  [a] It is a place that is cultivated
                  [b] It is a place that is valuable.
          [2] Judea was a place where many vines were grown therefore vines and vineyards were frequently used,
                  by the sacred writers.
          [3] The vineyard is used here to represent the Jewish people
                  [a] A people chosen of the Lord
                  [b] A people cultivated with care
                  [c] A people and signally favored above
                  [d] The city of Jerusalem
 
  [C] He hedged it round about
          [1] He enclosed it, with a fence of wood, or stone, or more probably with thorns, thick set and growing
          [2] The purpose was to keep out those wanting to harm the vines, or steel from them
          [3] This symbolizes how God placed a hedge of protection around Israel, to protect her
 
  [D] He dug a winepress in it.
          [1] Mark says, "dug a place for the wine-vat."
                  [a] This should have been so rendered in Matthew.
                  [b] The original word does not mean the press in which the grapes were trodden, but the vat, or large
                          cistern into which the wine ran.
                  [c] This was commonly made by digging into the side of a hill.
          [2] The wine-press was made of two receptacles.
                  [a] The upper one, in Persia at present, is about eight feet square, and four feet high.
                  [b] The grapes are thrown in this, and trodden by men.
                  [c] The juice runs into the large receptacle, or cistern below.
 
  [E] He built a tower.
          [1] In eastern countries even today, towers are built
                  [a] These towers are often eighty feet high, and thirty feet square.
                  [b] They were for the keepers, who defended the vineyard from thieves and animals, especially foxes.
          [2] Again this symbolizes show God placed protection around Israel, and how he placed his angels over it
                  to protect it from enemies around her
 
  [F] He let it out,
          [1] He rented it out which was not an uncommon thing.
          [2] Vineyards were often planted to be let out for profit.
          [3] In this instance, God gave Israel to the people – he let it out
                  [a] If you remember, for many years, Israel had no King but God,
                  [b] They wanted to be like the other countries, so they demanded to have their own king
                  [c] God gave them a king, - he let out the country to them, and allowed them to rule themselves.
 
  [G] He went into a far country.
          [1] He departed from them.
          [2] This vineyard as already stated, denotes the Jewish people, or Jerusalem.
                  [a] God had taken proper care of his vineyard
                  [b] He gave over the rule of the land to his people, to their kings and leaders and he allowed them to
                          rule themselves

Verse 34 - And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might
  receive the fruits of it.

  [A] And when the time of the fruit drew near,
          [1] The time for gathering the fruit.
          [2] The vineyard was let out, probably for a part of the fruit,
                  [a] The owner sent to receive the part that was his.
 
  [B] He sent his servants.
          [1] These no doubt represent the prophets God sent to the Jewish people.

Verse 35 - And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another.

  [A] And beat one of the servants
          [1] The word here that is translated beat properly means to flay, or to take off the skin.
          [2] Hence to beat, or to whip, so that the skin in many places was taken off.
 
  [B] And killed another        
          [1] Many of God’s prophets were mistreated, and some were killed
          [2] Isaiah is said to have been put to death by sawing him asunder
 
  [C] They stoned another
          [1] This, among the Jews, was a common punishment,
          [2] This does not mean that all who were stoned died, but they might only be wounded.

Verse 36 - Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise.

  [A] Time after time God sent prophets to Israel
  
  [B] Time after time they were tormented and killed

Verse 37 - But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son.
 
  [A] Last of all,
          [1] Mark adds, that this was an only son, and greatly beloved.
                  [a] This beautifully and most tenderly shows us the wonderful love of God, who sent his only Son,
                          into the world to die for men.
                  [b] Long had he sent the prophets, and they had been persecuted and slain.
                  [c] There was no use in sending any more prophets to the people. They had done all they could do.

  [B] God had one only-begotten and well-beloved Son, whom he might send into the world, and whom the world
          ought to reverence, even as they should the Father,
          [1] To reverence is to
                  [a] Show honor
                  [b] To hold in high esteem

Verse 38 - But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us
  kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance.
  
  [A] But when the husbandmen saw the son
          [1] They determined to kill him
                  [a] As he was the only son, they supposed they could easily seize on the property.
                  [b] It was rented to them, was in their possession, and they resolved to keep it.
 
  [B] The Jewish leaders during the time of Jesus, were not only the religious authorities, the also enforced the
          Jewish laws. Even though they were under Roman rule, they were allowed freedom to have rule over
          themselves under their religions, as long as it did not contradict Roman law
          [1] These leaders enjoyed their power
          [2] They were overstepping their bounds, because they were supposed to be leaders of the people,
                  teaching the laws of God, but instead they were creating laws of their own, and placing strict rules on
                  the people many of which had nothing to do with God’s law
          [3] They did not want to lose their power, nor did they desire to have Jesus, whom the people thought was
                  the messiah to be the ruler of the people.
          [4] They were threatened, so they wanted to kill Jesus and eliminate the threat from the heir - thus seizing
                  his inheritance

Verse 39 -  And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him.
 
  [A] And they caught him,  
          [1] This refers to the Jews putting Jesus to death.
          [2] They put him to death, after they had persecuted and slain the prophets.
          [3] This was done by giving him into the hands of the Romans, and seeking his crucifixion,
  
  [B] And cast him out of the vineyard.
          [1] The vineyard in this parable represents Jerusalem.
          [2] Jesus was crucified outside of Jerusalem, on Mount Calvary,

Verse 40 - When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen?
 
  [A] Jesus then asked them a question, what should be done to these husbandmen
 
  [B] His question was that they might condemn themselves, and admit the justice of the punishment that was
          soon to come upon them.

Verse 41 - They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other
  husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons.

  [A] They answered as they knew men would act and would be justified in doing so.
          [1] He would take away their privileges, and confer them on others.

  [B] This was the answer Jesus wanted.

  [C] He wanted to show them the justice of taking away their national privileges, and punishing them in the
          destruction of their city and nation in a few short years that would follow.

Verse 42 -  Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the
  same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?
  
  [A] Jesus saith unto them
          [1] Jesus, having led them to admit the justice of the principle which God was about to act towards them,
                  proceeds to apply it by a text of Scripture, declaring that this very thing which they admitted in the
                  case of the husbandmen, had been predicted respecting themselves.
 
  [B] The stone
          [1] This figure is taken from building a house.
          [2] The principal stone by which all the house is build from - the corner stone
 
  [C] Which the builders rejected
          [1] On account of its want of beauty, or size, it was laid aside, or deemed unfit to be a corner-stone.
          [2] This represents the Lord Jesus, proposed to the Jews as the foundation, or corner-stone on which to
                  build the church:                
                  [a] He was rejected by the builders, on account of his want of comeliness or beauty
                  [b] He was not considered by them to be comely or desirable,
                          [1-a] This is no different than the way he is treated today
                          [2-a] The things of the world are considered comely and is desired by many – where as the
                                  things of God are unseen and are not desired
 
  [D] The same is become the chief cornerstone
          [1] Though He was rejected by them, Christ became the foundation of the church
          [2] Christ is often compared to a stone, a corner-stone, a tried and firm foundation
 
  [E] It was the Lord’s doing
          [1] The appointment of Jesus of Nazareth to be the foundation of the church, was by miracle and
                  prophecy proved to be the work of God.
 
  [F] It is marvelous in our eyes
          [1] It is wonderful in the sight of his people.
          [2] it is an object of gratitude and admiration
                  [a] That he should Select his only Son
                  [b] That he should stoop so low, to be despised, rejected, and put to death
                  [c] That God should raise him up, and build a church on this foundation, embracing the Gentiles as
                          well as the Jew,
                  [d] All of this is a subject of wonder and praise to the redeemed.

Verse 43 - Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing
  forth the fruits thereof.
 
  [A] The kingdom of God shall be taken from you
          [1] Jesus applied the parable to the Jews.
                  [a] They had been the children of the kingdom, or under the reign of God; having his law, and
                          acknowledging him as King.
                  [b] They had been his chosen and peculiar people
                          [1-a] Those privileges would; be taken away
                          [2-a] They cease being a peculiar people of God
                          [3-a] The blessing would be given to a nation who would bring forth fruits

  [B] The kingdom of God was to be given to the Gentiles

Verse 44 - And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to
  powder.
 
  [A] Whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken
          [1] Having made an allusion to himself as a Stone, he proceeds to state the consequences of coming in
                  contact with it.
          [2] He that falls upon it, shall be broken;
                  [a] He that runs against it, a corner-stone, standing out from the other parts of the Foundation -shall
                          be injured, or broken in his limbs or body.
                  [b] He that is offended with my being the foundation, or that opposes me, shall, by the act, injure
                          himself; make himself miserable by so doing

  [B] On whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.
          [1] That is, in the original, will reduce him to dust, so that it may be scattered by the winds.
          [2] There is an allusion here, doubtless, to the custom of stoning as a punishment among the Jews.
                  [a] A scaffold was erected, twice the height of the man to be stoned.
                  [b] Standing on its edge, he was violently struck off by one of the witnesses; if he died by the blow
                          and the fall, nothing farther was done; if not, a heavy stone was thrown down on him, which at
                          once killed him.
          [3] So the Saviour speaks of the falling of the stone on his enemies.
                  [a] Those who oppose him, reject him, and continue impenitent, shall be crushed by him in the day of
                          judgment, and perish for ever.

Verse 45 - And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them.
 
  [A] They finally figured out that Jesus was talking about them

Verse 46 - But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a
  prophet.

  [A] Once they determined that he was talking about them, they determined in their heart to do exactly what he
          said they would do, they wanted to lay hands on him and kill him
 
  [B] Because they feared that the people would rebel against them, they let him go
 
  [C] The people took him for a prophet
          [1] The people were a lot smarter then leaders
          [2] They perceived that he was a man of God a prophet
          [3] The leaders were blinded by their power and position, and was fearful of losing what they Had