The wineyard, the farmers and the servants.

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INTRODUCTION

Tomorrow Sunday, October 4 Mt 21,33-43 is read. It is about the parable of the farmers who leased a vineyard and then “took his servants, beat one, killed another, and stoned another.”.

This parable takes some time for me, to interpret. So  I hope to conclude this post tomorrow after having listened to the Angelus of the Pope.

INDEX

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The text

( N:B. The texts below are copied from www.christianwritingtoday.com/free_downloads/WebNT_CWTedition.pdf )

Matthew 21:33-3 says:

21:33 “Hear another parable. There was a man who was a master of a household, who planted a vineyard, set a hedge about it, dug a winepress in it, built a tower, leased it out to farmers, and went into another country
. 21:34 When the season for the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the farmers, to receive his fruit.
21:35 The farmers took his servants, beat one, killed another, and stoned another.
21:36 Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they treated them the same way.
21:37 But afterward he sent to them his son, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’
21:38 But the farmers, when they saw the son, said among themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him, and seize his inheritance.’
21:39 So they took him, and threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him.
21:40 When therefore the lord of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those farmers?”
21:41 They told him, “He will miserably destroy those miserable men, and will lease out the vineyard to other farmers, who will give him the fruit in its season.”
21:42 Jesus said to them, “Did you never read in the Scriptures, ‘The stone which the builders rejected, the same was made the head of the corner. This was from the Lord. It is marvelous in our eyes?’
21:43“ Therefore I tell you, the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and will be given to a nation bringing forth its fruit.
21:44 He who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, but on whomever, it will fall, it will scatter him as dust.”

Lachiesa.it shares this introduction to the parable:

The parable of the murderous tenants is of such realism that we could consider it as a theology of history.
Murder is the apogee of continuous infidelity, which naturally hides ingratitude. It is the history of humanity and that of every man, with our limitations, our injustices, our avarice, our ambitions. We often react this way to the good we receive from our fellow men. We often act like this in the face of God’s goodness.
We are bad administrators, who begin by committing the grave mistake of believing ourselves masters of the kingdom and the least power disturbs us, even that of God, absolute but not a ruler. We are not in the place we should occupy, and we would like to forbid entry to the kingdom to those who want to enter it. God’s attitude differs completely from ours. He loves us the same way; but he does not tolerate that his children do not eat the bread that he offers them and that, moreover, they persist in preventing others from eating it. We are wrong in everything. And just when we feel more secure, we will be deprived of our gifts, because we do not have, even if we believe it, any exclusivity.”

 

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The message

21:33 “Hear another parable. There was a man who was a master of a household, who planted a vineyard, set a hedge about it, dug a winepress in it, built a tower, leased it out to farmers, and went into another country

This is maybe a parable about God who created all things and then went to another exoplanet. God does not show up now and then for reasons we do not know.

As pope Francis explained in the Angelus October, the wineyard represents the choosen people that were to be taken care of.

. 21:34 When the season for the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the farmers, to receive his fruit.
21:35 The farmers took his servants, beat one, killed another, and stoned another.

The servants are the prophets that God sent out to collect the fruits of its “vineyard”.

21:37 But afterward he sent to them his son, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’
21:38 But the farmers, when they saw the son, said among themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him, and seize his inheritance.’

This sounds to be about Jesus. But then Jesus explains:

21:42 Jesus said to them, “Did you never read in the Scriptures, ‘The stone which the builders rejected, the same was made the head of the corner. This was from the Lord. It is marvelous in our eyes?

It sounds to be about Peter.

21:43“ Therefore I tell you, the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and will be given to a nation bringing forth its fruit.
21:44 He who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, but on whomever, it will fall, it will scatter him as dust.”

The interpretation of pope Francis.

  1. The owner of the vineyard is God
  2. The vineyard represents the chosen people of Israel
  3. The servants sent by the master are the prophets
  4. the son  it is the figure of Jesus

Here is the description of the pope Francis at the Angelus in Rome October 4. See below the transcript translation.

TRANSCRIPT TRANSLATION:

00:54 good morning in today’s gospel Jesus
01:03 foreseeing his passion and death
01:07 tells the parable of the winemakers
01:11 murderers to admonish the leaders of the
01:15 priests and elders of the people who
01:19 they are about to take a wrong turn
01:23 these, in fact, have evil intentions
01:27 towards him and seek the
01:31 way to eliminate him
01:36 the allegorical tale describes a
01:38 master who after having taken great care of the
01:42 his vineyard having to leave the line to 
01:46 farmers. Then at harvest time
01:50 he sent servants to collect the fruits but
01:55 those winemakers welcomed the servants
01:59 with sticks 
02:01 and some were even killed.
02:05  The master sent out more servants
02:08 but they received the same treatment
02:12 the limit is reached when the master
02:16 decides to send his son.
02:19 The winemakers (farmers) have no respect for it.
02:23 They think that by eliminating the son, they will be able 
02:29 to take over the vineyard too.
02:33 The image of the vineyard is
02:40 clear. It represents the people God
02:43 has chosen and taken care of with
02:46 so much love.
02:49 The servants sent by the master are the
02:53 prophets sent by god while the son
02:58 it is the figure of Jesus. How they were rejected
03:03  so also the christ was rejected and killed

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conclusion

Verse 21:34 that says “When the season for the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the farmers, to receive his fruit.”

reminds me about a verse in the Quran 57:25 that says: 
“We have already sent Our messengers with clear evidence and sent down with them the Scripture and the balance that the people may maintain [their affairs] in justice.” 

http://corpus.quran.com/translation.jsp?chapter=36&verse=14 

When We sent to them two but they denied them, so We strengthened them with a third,”


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