By Colleen Donahue

Jesus, in talking with the Pharisees and other Jewish leaders, was trying to show them light about their lives through parables. In His first parable to them about two sons being asked to go work in the vineyards, He shows them that they were full of talk but no action. The common people on the other hand were believing Christ's teaching, repenting, and taking their place in God's kingdom ahead of the Jewish leaders. Without stopping, Jesus begins the second parable that helps to amplify the one about the two sons. Read through the parable once to get the overview.


Will You Be Found Trustworthy ?

Studies continued from Matthew 21: 33-46


The Symbolism Behind the Parable

In Palestine it was quite common to have absentee landlords. The discontent of laborers was also common because they were in a country with widespread economic and social unrest. There is a great deal of symbolism in this parable which would have been very familiar to the Jewish mind.
- The householder or landowner is God
-The Vineyard of the Lord is a familiar prophetic picture of the Jewish nation.
-The watchtower around the vineyard shows how God watched over and guarded His people
-The husbandman or farmer tenants were the religious leaders of Israel who had charge of the nation's welfare
-The servants were God's prophets
-The son or heir was Jesus

Day 1- Now read the parable again with your understanding of the symbolism behind it.
Matthew 21: 33-46

What This Parable Teaches us About God

Day 2- This story tells us a great deal about God, about men and about Jesus. Let us start with God. First, we see that He is the owner and creator.
Matthew 21:33a / Genesis 1:1 / Psalm 102:25 / Psalm 24:1 / Psalm 50:10 / Leviticus 25:23

Day 3- Secondly we see God's trust in men to care for His work. He not only leases his property to men but He leaves in order to give them freedom to farm as they wanted.
Matthew 21:33b / John 15:16 / Ephesians 2:10

Day 4- Third, we see God's patience with men as He tries to collect His due.
Matthew 21:34-37

Over and over in the history of God's people they disobeyed and rejected God. They deserved nothing but punishment and death. Yet, God would patiently wait for them to turn back to Him.
Isaiah 48:8-9

It's the same love that waits for us.
2 Peter 3:9, 15

Day 5- Fourth, we see God's love for men in His willingness to send His only son.
Matthew 21: 37 / John 3:16 / Romans 5:8

Day 6- Finally, we see that God will hold us accountable for what He entrusts us with. There will be a day of judgment and reckoning.
Luke 12:48 / 2 Corinthians 5:10 / Romans 14:12 / Revelations 22:12

What This Parable Teaches About Men

Day 7- First we see that we are privileged that God trusts us and He expects that we will be faithful to that trust.
Luke 19:13 / 1 Corinthians 4:2 / 1 Peter 4:10

Day 8- He gives us free will. We are free to choose to serve God as faithful stewards or to work for our own gain.
Matthew 25:14-15,19 / Galatians 5:13 / 1 Peter 2:16

Day 9- If men are self-seeking they will commit atrocities to get what they want.
Amos 2:6-7 / Jeremiah 22:13 / James 5:4

Sin is deliberately taking our own way when we know full well what God's way would be.

What This Parable Tells Us About Jesus

Day 10- First we see that He was God's Son. He was NOT just another one of the servants. He was NOT just another prophet. He was God's SON.
Luke 22:70 / John 10:30 / John 12:45 / Hebrews 1:3

Day 11- Secondly, we see His sacrifice. He went to the vineyard knowing what might happen to Him based on the other servants.
Matthew 20:17-19 / Luke 9:22

Jesus - The Trust of the Jewish Nation

Day 12- The Jewish nation as God's own people had a special trust from God. They were people that God chose to be the human family for His Son.
Deuteronomy 14:2

They were His treasured possessions.
Exodus 19:5-6

God exalted them above all the nations of the world.
Deuteronomy 26:18-19 / 1 Samuel 12:22

And He guided them as a shepherd would His own flock.
Psalm 78:52 / Psalm 100:3

Day 13- But when Jesus finally came in the flesh to live with His chosen people what happened?
John 1:11

What did they do to Him?
Isaiah 53:3 / Matthew 13:55-57 / Mark 15:29-30 / John 10:20

Day 14- The Jews had despised and rejected God's trust in His Son despite God's patience with them. From these verses list what God needed to do.
Matthew 21:40-44

These verses predict the casting off of the Jewish nation and God's kingdom and authority being passed on to another "nation" which is the church, or a citizenship of the spirit (i.e. not of the flesh).

Day 15- Did the Jewish leaders understand that He was talking about them?
Matthew 21:45

Day 16- The symbol of the stone used in verse 43 was familiar to the Jews. It's original meaning was from:
Psalm 118:22

It represented the Jewish nation hated by all men and yet the one that God had chosen.

In Matthew's parable -- Matthew 21:43 -- it refers to Jesus. Despite the fact that men have rejected Him and tried to eliminate him, He remains the most important person in the world.

Here are three Old Testament verses referring to the stone, which are summed up in Christ.

Day 17- Christ is the foundation on which all is built and the cornerstone that holds everything together.
Isaiah 28:16

Day 18- When we reject Jesus and refuse God's Son, then we are certain to stumble and fall. "To refuse His way is to batter one's head against the walls of God." William Barclay
Isaiah 8: 14-15

Day 19- In the end to defy Christ will mean being crushed out of life.
Daniel 2: 34, 44-45

What Will You Do With YOUR Trust From God?

Day 20- When the Jews rejected Jesus that trust was given to the Gentile nations. They became the recipient of God's saving love and grace offered through His Son Jesus. To all those who believed they were given the right to become God's own children. And that includes you and I if we believe in Jesus.
John 1: 12

Day 21- When we believe, we are adopted into God's family and given the Spirit of Jesus to live in our hearts. This spirit within us causes us to see God as our Father and cry out to Him.
Galatians 4:6

Day 22- While believing provides entrance into God's family, it is only through obedience that we secure the benefits of a child.
Matthew 12:50

Day 23- Talk is cheap. What is sadly true of many who say they believe?
Matthew 7: 21

It is belief plus obedience that makes us children who can become heirs of all of God's promises.
Romans 8: 16-17

Day 24- It may mean some inconvenience and suffering to obey Christ rather than the world or people around us, but what will be true in the end?
Romans 8: 18 / Revelations 22:12

Notice: In Revelations 22:12 that we will be rewarded for what is DONE not what is SAID.

Day 25- As true believers in Christ we have become part of a people called "the church". It is a citizenship based on the spirit and not on the flesh. This church is the people Jesus speaks of in:
Matthew 21: 43

The church of believers is the recipient of the trust rejected by the Jews. The church is more highly privileged than the Jewish nation but will she also forfeit that privilege?
Revelations 2: 4-5 / Revelations 3: 15-16

Day 26 - The church is made up of individuals -- YOU and I ! Will we believe? Will we obey Jesus? Will we stand up in this world and be counted as a member of His family? May we not make the same decision the Jewish leaders made and spend our lives falling and being crushed?
Matthew 21:44

Daily Discipline Table of Contents