WEEK 22 | FRIDAY | MATTHEW 21.33-46
This week’s readings are all from Matthew 20-21. Click here to see a full listing of each day’s reading and the full chapters of Matthew 20-21. Full readings of each day’s smaller segments of the readings will be posted on this site during the week.
33 “Listen to another parable: There was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He put a fence around it, dug a pit for its winepress, and built a watchtower. Then he leased it to tenant farmers and went on a journey. 34 When the harvest time was near, he sent his slaves to the tenants to collect his portion of the crop. 35 But the tenants seized his slaves, beat one, killed another, and stoned another. 36 Again he sent other slaves, more than the first, and they treated them the same way. 37 Finally he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 38 But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him and get his inheritance!’ 39 So they seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. 40 Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” 41 They said to him, “He will utterly destroy those evil men! Then he will lease the vineyard to other tenants who will give him his portion at the harvest.”
42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the scriptures:
‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.
This is from the Lord, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?
43 For this reason I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. 44 The one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, and the one on whom it falls will be crushed.” 45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they realized that he was speaking about them. 46 They wanted to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowds, because the crowds regarded him as a prophet.
This passage reminds me to be careful of any entitlement I might feel because I'm already "in"... I'm not motivated by just seeking inheritance for myself, but should work to give back a "portion of the crop" from which I benefit.
What could this tempting inheritance be? Unconditional love, unending grace, deep joy, maybe... things that are good and intended to be enjoyed and received but never hoarded or kept for myself.
What portion of the crop is to be given back via the slaves? Well, this inheritance, I think... but how do we give back those kinds of things to God? "Whatever you do to the least of these, you do to me" maybe?
God built goodness into the world, in creation and in community, and we aren't supposed to find it just for ourselves, we are supposed to share it.
What do y'all do with this parable?