The Parables of Jesus Series | Parable of the Evil Farmers

The next parable we will be looking at is the Parable of the Evil Farmers. This parable is found in Matthew 21:33-41 and it reads;

33 “Now listen to another story. A certain landowner planted a vineyard, built a wall around it, dug a pit for pressing out the grape juice, and built a lookout tower. Then he leased the vineyard to tenant farmers and moved to another country. 34 At the time of the grape harvest, he sent his servants to collect his share of the crop. 35 But the farmers grabbed his servants, beat one, killed one, and stoned another. 36 So the landowner sent a larger group of his servants to collect for him, but the results were the same.

37 “Finally, the owner sent his son, thinking, ‘Surely they will respect my son.’

38 “But when the tenant farmers saw his son coming, they said to one another, ‘Here comes the heir to this estate. Come on, let’s kill him and get the estate for ourselves!’ 39 So they grabbed him, dragged him out of the vineyard, and murdered him.

40 “When the owner of the vineyard returns,” Jesus asked, “what do you think he will do to those farmers?”

41 The religious leaders replied, “He will put the wicked men to a horrible death and lease the vineyard to others who will give him his share of the crop after each harvest.”

This parable is also repeated in Mark 12:1-9 and in Luke 20:9-16

Interpretation

The man who planted the vineyard is God; the vineyard is the nation of Israel; the tenant farmers are Israel’s religious leaders; the servants are the prophets and priests who remained faithful to God; the son is Jesus; and the others are the Gentiles.

The religious leaders not only frustrated their nation’s purpose but also killed those who were trying to fulfill it. They were so jealous and possessive that they ignored the welfare of the very people they were supposed to be bringing to God. By telling this story, Jesus exposed the religious leaders’ plot to kill him and warned that their sins would be punished.

The actions of the religious leaders steened from greed. The vineyard was never theirs anyway. It was only lended to them.

I will like to steer this wheel to another direction. It’s very easy for us to point fingers at the religious leaders for their shortcomings and forget that some of us are equally guilty of greed. We might not show it exactly the way they did. However our actions and the motives of what we do are same.

What if we see the vineyard as anything we have been lended by God. It could be gifts, talents, skills or wealth. Most times, we start off humble but that changes quickly once our gifts starts making rooms for us. We refuse to give back to God what is due Him and we keep everything for ourselves. We become prideful in allowing others into the room. We build barriers around us to prevent others from coming in, for fear of them benefitting from the very gift that we have; forgetting that it was only lended to us by God.

So maybe it will be wise for us to have a self reflection as we study these parables because they were written for our own benefits.

Have we locked God away from our hearts? Are we preventing Him from having access into our gifts? What is that thing that we don’t like Him to get involved in? Can we have a moment of repentance?

I understand that the later part of this blog post isn’t exactly the interpretation of this parable but i do hope that you are able to put the knots together and see how it fits in.

If you would like to read previous parables, please click here.

15 thoughts on “The Parables of Jesus Series | Parable of the Evil Farmers

  1. I like that you use the words “lended by God.” That opened my eyes to the fact that the gifts, talents, etc. that I have are not GIVEN to me…they are lended and I should use them well or lose them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Vickie. It was a great reminder for me too. I have missed reading amazing posts like yours on here. I’m prayerfully hoping that I get my rhythm back soon🙏🏾

      Like

  2. Thank you for your encouragement to “have a self reflection as we study these parables because they were written for our own benefits.” I’ll confess that when there is a familiarity behind a story or in this case a parable, I tend to allow the familiar to deafen my ears to what the Lord is trying to say to me in the now. I greatly appreciate how your interpretations of the parables have challenged me to hear them afresh.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much my brother. Oh how I miss reading your posts and that of many others. Life has taken a different turn at the moment but it won’t remain like this for too long. I’m yearning to come back here and read up as before.

      Liked by 1 person

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