: New Testament Stories

One day when the priests and elders of the Temple were asking

questions of Jesus, He told them this parable.

There was a certain man who had a vineyard which was hedged or walled

round, and had a tower. But he was going away into a country far off,

so he let the vineyard to a number of husbandmen, or labourers, who

were to give him part of the fruit of the vines. When the time had

come that the fruit was
ipe, he sent his servants to the husbandmen

that he might receive his share. But the wicked husbandmen took his

servants, and slew one, and beat another, and stoned the third. Then

he sent other servants, more than before, but the husbandmen served

them as they had done the others. Last of all he sent his own son,

saying, "They will reverence my son." But when those wicked men saw

him coming, they said among themselves, "This is the heir to all the

vineyard; come, let us kill him and seize on his inheritance." So they

caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him.

Then Jesus said to the priests and elders, "When the Lord of the

vineyard cometh, what will he do unto these husbandmen?" And they

answered, "He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let

out his vineyard to others, who shall render him the fruits in their


In this parable the owner of the vineyard means God; the vineyard

Canaan, and the husbandmen are the Jews, who had promised to obey Him,

but had not done so. He had sent His prophets among them, to warn

them, but these had been killed. At last He sent His only Son, but

they would not own Him as such, and soon they would kill Him. When the

priests heard this they knew it referred to them, and they were very

angry and would have taken Him and killed Him, but they were afraid of

the people, who took Jesus to be a prophet.