for the use of his land.
i. Read verse 34 with me. (READ v. 34) → The master gave the vineyard into the care of the vinedressers, and he expected the vinedressers to put the vineyard to good use and to produce fruit by the time he returned. So just as vintage time rolls around, the master returns home and quickly sets out to collect his rent.
1. The master sends some of his servants as representatives to the vinedressers, seeking to collect the rent. The parallel accounts of this parable in Mark and Luke show that the master sent these servants three separate times, one right after another.
ii. Vinedressers’ Reaction → The landowner had made every provision for the vinedressers to use his vineyard. He had prepared the land, placed a hedge and built a tower for their protection, and even dug out the winepress for them. But once again Jesus uses an all too common reality to make His spiritual point: the vinedressers were abusing the rights of the master of the vineyard because he had been absent for a long time.
1. Vinedressers’ Rejection → The vinedressers took the representatives of the landowner and abused them. When all that the master sought was his rightful payment, the wicked vinedressers spit in his face by rejecting his messengers. (READ v. 35-36)
a. They took the 1st servant and beat him, sending him away shamefully, but the master sent another.
b. They took the 2nd servant and stoned him until he was severely wounded, and they sent him away empty-handed, but again, even knowing how they had treated the first 2, the master sent another representative.
c. When the 3rd servant was sent, he must have known the fate of the two before him, but still he went to the vinedressers, asking only that they hold up their end of the bargain. But this time the tenants took it one step farther and brutally killed the innocent servant and cast him out of the vineyard. But even then the master did not give up.
d. He sent even more servants to them, hoping that the evil vinedressers would change their ways and do what was right, but just like they had with the three servants before, the vinedressers beat and stoned and killed these men too. Yet even after all of this, the master of the vineyard graciously decided to make one last effort, to give his tenants one last chance.
2. The Landowner’s Son → So we look to verse 37 (READ v. 37). The lord of the vineyard thinks, “Even though they rejected me by killing my servants, surely they accept my son!”
a. But when the vinedressers saw the only son of the master coming down the road to meet them, what they saw was not a chance to change their ways. What they saw was not someone who they should respect as the master’s own flesh and blood. What they saw was an opportunity, an opportunity to seize control of what they viewed as their vineyard.