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The Parable of the Vine Growers

Rev. Michael Calvert, Ph.D., July 21, 2019
Part of the The Parables of Jesus series.

As you know, the parables of Jesus are scattered through all four Gospels, with the bulk of them located in the ‘Synoptic Gospels’ (those that are similar, Matthew, Mark, and Luke). When one of these parables is found multiple times in the Gospel accounts, we need to pay particular attention to it. For some reason, the Holy Spirit has seen fit to record it for us more than once.

In Matthew 21:33-46, Mark 12:1-12, and Luke 20:9-19 we discover the ‘Parable of the Vineyard’ (also called the ‘Parable of the Vine-growers,’ or the ‘Parable of the Land-owner’). Like the other stories that Jesus told, this one also deals with the Kingdom of Heaven. But this parable is uniquely directed against the religious and spiritual leaders of Israel. You can see this as you examine the context, or setting of this story. For example, in Mark’s account you’ll note the context of the parable beginning in 11:1 with the ‘Triumphal Entry’ of Jesus into Jerusalem during the final week of His earthly life. From there, He is confronted by Israel’s religious establishment, and He gives this parable to them as a counterattack upon their rejection of God’s Kingdom.

As with all of Jesus’ parables, there is much for us to learn here about our Savior and about His gracious reign. On Sunday, we will follow Mark’s version of this parable, and we will walk with our Lord through the details of this story as we seek to learn the valuable lessons of salvation and discipleship.