Jesus utilized various illustrations and parables in an attempt to wake up the priests and elders to their lost condition. He longed for them to repent and be saved. Let’s listen in on a conversation with them.
“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:
And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it. And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another.
Again, he sent other servants...: and they did unto them likewise. But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son.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.
And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him. “Matthew 21:33-39.
The Jewish religious leaders were well acquainted with the vineyard imagery being used for the Jewish nation. A read of Isaiah 5 reveals the same word picture.
Jesus was making it clear that He knew the direction of their hearts and intents towards Him.
Just as their ancestors had killed the prophets whose messages they chose to reject, these leaders were, at that very time, plotting a way to bring about the death of the Son of God.
The leaders had become so caught up in Jesus’ parable, that they hadn’t yet realized the application to themselves, so when Jesus posed the question,
“When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen?” verse 40, they pronounced judgment upon themselves by their reply,
“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” verse 41.
With few words Jesus told them the eminent outcome of their choices as well as the only way to change the course of things.
“The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken” verses 43, 44.
How many today will lose the kingdom of God if they continue in their present self-planned way?
It is only as we fall on the Stone, Jesus Christ, and are broken that He can make us into fruitful vines of His planting.