“He went on to tell the people this parable: ‘A man planted a vineyard, rented it to some farmers and went away for a long time. At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants so they would give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. He sent another servant, but that one also they beat and treated shamefully and sent away empty-handed. He sent still a third, and they wounded him and threw him out. Then the owner of the vineyard said, “What shall I do? I will send my son, whom I love; perhaps they will respect him.” But when the tenants saw him, they talked the matter over. “This is the heir,” they said. “Let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.” So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others.’ When the people heard this, they said, ‘God forbid!’ Jesus looked directly at them and asked, ‘Then what is the meaning of that which is written: “’
“‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone’? Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.” The teachers of the law and the chief priests looked for a way to arrest him immediately, because they knew he had spoken this parable against them. But they were afraid of the people.” Luke 20:9-19
The crowd was filled with the people who had come to listen, but it was also rife with the religious leaders. They were lurking, looking, plotting for a way to trip Jesus up.
Jesus told a story about a landowner who lent out his vineyard to some tenants. The owner sent a servant to collect some of the fruit. The tenants beat him and sent him home empty-handed.
The owner sent a second servant. This one they also beat and treated shamefully.
And yet a third came. He was wounded and cast out.
Finally, the owner sent his beloved son. This time when the tenants saw him they plotted to kill him so the property could be theirs. And so they did what they had planned and somehow expected to gain from their malicious plans.
But the owner knew and he would come and destroy their wickedness and give the vineyard to others.
The story ended. The people declared, “God forbid!”
But Jesus looked right into those evil filled eyes and knew their hearts. The scribes and chief priests sought to lay hands on Him because they perceived that the story had been about them.
Somehow, they missed the point that the ones who killed the Son did not prosper, but rather met destruction.