Luke 20:9-18

Jesus tells a story about farmers

9 Then Jesus began to tell this story to the people. He said, ‘A man planted vines in his garden to grow grapes there. He found some farmers to work in the garden for him. Then he went away to another country and he stayed there for a long time.

10 At the time for the harvest, the man sent a servant to speak to the farmers. He wanted them to give him some fruit from the garden.

But the farmers hit the servant with sticks and they sent him away with nothing.

11 The master sent another servant to go to the farmers. They hit him with sticks too, and they did other bad things to him. They also sent him away with nothing. 12 The master then sent a third servant to the farmers. They hurt him badly too, and they threw him out of the garden.

13 Then the master of the garden said to himself, “I know what I will do. I will send my own son to go to them. I love him very much. Perhaps they will respect him.” 14 But the farmers saw him coming. They said to each other, “This is the son of our master. When our master dies, the garden will belong to his son. So we should kill the son and then the garden will be ours.”

15 So they threw the son out of the garden and they killed him.’

Jesus went on to ask, ‘Then what will the master of the garden do to those farmers? 16 I tell you, he will come to those farmers and he will kill them. Then he will give the garden to other people to take care of it.’

When the people heard this, they replied, ‘That must never happen!’

20:16In this story, God is the master of the field and Jesus is his Son. The people are like the vines. And their leaders who refused to obey God are like the farmers. The servants are the men that received messages from God for his people. Jesus said that God would destroy those important leaders. Those leaders did not like it when he said that.

17 Jesus then looked at the people and he said, ‘You say that this must not happen. But you have read this in the Bible and you should know what it means:

“The builders refused to use a certain stone.

They thought that it had no value.

But now that stone has become the most important stone at the corner of the building.

20:17See Psalms 118:22. The special stone means Jesus himself. ‘The builders’ means the Jewish leaders who would not let Jesus rule them.

18 When a person falls onto that stone, it will break his body into pieces. When that stone falls on top of someone, it will destroy him completely.” ’