Jesus-The Parable of the Wicked Tenants

The Parable of the Wicked Tenants

It was very clear to the earliest followers of Jesus that Jesus was a prophet like the other prophets who came before him (see Luke 4:24; John 6:14; Jn 9:17).

However, the Gospel writers were eager to teach that Jesus was not like other prophets, but that he was the Son of God. In their zeal, they did not stop to realise that their doctrine does not do justice to God. Some of what they reported in the Gospels reflect badly on God. But they did not seem to realise this. Take for example the parable of the wicked tenants reported in the first three Gospels.

The Gospels show that Jesus wanted to confront the Jews about their history of killing the prophets, and of their intention to kill him also. So he told them the following parable which clearly was about them. The story is as follows:

“A man planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a pit for the winepress and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and went away on a journey. At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants to collect from them some to the fruit of the vineyard. But they seized him, beat him and sent him away empty handed. Then he sent another servant to them; they struck this man on the head and treated him shamefully. He sent still another, and that one they killed. He sent many others; some they beat, others they killed. He had one left to send, a son, whom he loved. He sent him last of all, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But the tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him and the inheritance will be ours.’ So they took him and killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard. What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others” (Mark 12:1-9).

In this parable, the wicked tenants represent the Jews, the servants represent the prophets whom God sent one after another; and the owner of the vineyard represents God. The son obviously represents Jesus whom God sent last of all. So Jesus is shown to be different from the prophets. He is not one of the servants. He is a beloved son. At least that is what the Gospel writers are interested in showing.

Those who will analyze this story, however, will easily notice how foolish was the behaviour of the owner of the vineyard. He sent his servants one after another and, knowing that they were beaten and killed, nevertheless sent his beloved son to the same danger. Although he had full power to act, he did nothing until his son is definitely killed. He is also ignorant of the future. He naively assumes that the wicked servants will respect his son. So can anyone compare this foolish man to God? But that is what the story does. This is why it is clearly admitted in the Pelican New Testament Commentaries, St. Mark. p. 309, that it is unlikely that Jesus told this parable.

The whole idea of God having a son is objectionable to God. God considers it an insult to speak of Him in this way. Therefore, although we love Jesus, honour him, and believe in him, we should not call him ‘Son of God’. And we should not compare God’s plan with the plan of a man so foolish as the owner of the vineyard.

Jesus was a true prophet of God; he was the Messiah; and he spoke the truth. But he never claimed to be God’s son.

13 thoughts on “Jesus-The Parable of the Wicked Tenants

  1. To deny that Jesus Christ is the Son of God is the spirit of antichrist. Jesus IS the Messiah not was the Messiah.

  2. Which Bible exactly are you reading? Jesus, on more than one occasion, has proclaimed God to be his Father. Do you want an example? Sure, here’s one: When Jesus was on the cross he shouted out “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” In case you haven’t realized, the parable is connected with the killing of Jesus. The owner sent his son to the wicked tenants [this shows that he never gave up hope on them] but they killed him as what happened with Jesus. god is not be compared as foolish but if you read more carefully and try to analyze the scriptures better you will realize that it is because of his unconditional love for the world that he sent his only begotten son even though he knew he would be killed. Read over the parable one more time and read over Jesus’ death and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

  3. It needs one to re read the Holy Bible many more times to understand why the parable is apt and not foolish! God has given each one of us the discernment by the power of the Holy Spirit, if one had made an attempt to receive Him. The whole Gospel according to St.John, is a reminder to everyone on the love aspect of the Father and the teachings of the ever living God the Messiah who is and who will be is a mesage of Lov and love for everyone, including the enemy!.

  4. As previously mentioned, what Bible are you reading? Are you serious?

    In Matthew 3:17 “And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” Hands down, Jesus is God’s son, discussion over! As for the Parable of the Tenants, God is no one’s fool. He is sending a message (communicating) to us today, as he did for the Jews, that he is the landlord and we are the tenants. Therefore, it is by his grace alone that we can dwell with him, assuming you have acknowledged his son Jesus as Lord and Savior of your life.

  5. I find it ironic that you had a quote from the Gospel of John which allegedly shows he was just a prophet. John consistently has the highest christology of all the gospels. This essay wouldn’t stand up in a high school freshman composition class.

  6. I found this website in my study of ‘stewardship’ – our responsibility on the earth for all that God has graciously allowed us to look after. I began this study after reading in 2 Kings 8 how after 7 years away, not only does the King award the Shunammite woman her land and house back, but the proceeds of all the produce of the land in that whole 7 years. It is a clear lesson that not only is the earth not ours but Gods, but all we produce and have and ‘own’ in our own lives also belongs to God and He has total right to it. Of course the wicked tenants of the above paragraph rebelled against this fervently and repeatedly. The Father’s decision to keep sending prophets was not foolish, for God’s foolishness is greater than our wisdom (1Cor1:25) but a display of his love, for 1Cor13:7 clearly shows that love ALWAYS protects, hopes, trusts and perseveres. His love towards us is unending, and it’s our fault for not learning His lessons, not His. Of course He knew the future, He is the Alpha and Omega who dwells in Eternity, outside of time, and the Lamb of God was slain before the foundation of the world (e.g.Rev13:8, Isaiah53:5). He knew we would kill his son before Adam was created. This is part of the divine Love of God we are struggling to fully understand.

  7. Whoever wrote this article proves without a shadow of doubt that they have absolutely no intimate relationship with God through his son Jesus Christ. All through the gospel of John, Jesus claimed equality with God. God did send his son even though he knew he would die because he was the only way that the rest of us who deserved to die could live.

    1. You say you worship nothing but God then you say He has taken a son? What gives you the right to pronounce lies and spread mischief through out the lands. “There is none worthy of worship but Allah”. Call him by whichever name you wish but make sure it’s beautiful. Your God & my Lord is the same, then why do not acknowledge His Word and make a prophet, servant & slave of Allah into a divine being and write mythology of your imagination. Allah is beyond your imagination can fathom, read all His Scriptures & The Last Testament, then only will you seize being blinded from the Truth. A man of God should not speak lies of the highest magnitude. Ponder ! “Say: He is Allah, The One & Only, The Eternal, The Absolute, He begets not nor is He begotten & There is nothing like onto HIM.”- Al Ikhlaas, Qur’an.

  8. The writer’s conclusion that God is not Jesus’ Father would make it necessary to also conclude that Romans 8:29 is false. As for calling the Lord God foolish for sending more people to be killed- let’s remember that in Genesis 18 He told Abraham that He would spare the city if there were ten righteous people in the city. This indicates His concern for a tiny percentage of the total population of the city. This same principle applies to the parable of the wicked tenants. God (the landlord), being omniscient (really smart), knew that the servants (prophets) and His Son (his son) would be killed. . The son, who was the “spitting image” of his father, knew that he would be killed. They went anyway so that one or maybe a few of them would listen to reason and finally come into agreement with the landlord. They gave their lives to benefit others.

    Are you one of the few who will listen?

  9. And as for the allegation that Jesus never claimed to be God’s son, what about “I and the Father are one” John 10:30 or “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” John 14:9?

  10. We love, result in I stumbled upon what exactly I was looking for. You may have ended the several evening extended search for! Goodness Thanks a lot male. Use a good evening. Ok bye

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