Matthew 21:33-46

Jesus tells a story about a farmer

33 Then Jesus said again to the Jewish leaders, ‘Listen to another story that I will tell you. There was a man who had his own farm. He planted vines in a garden to grow grapes there. He built a wall round the garden. He dug a hole in the ground for a winepress to make wine. He also built a tall building to watch over the garden.

21:33From a tall building, someone could watch for any animals, birds or bad people who came to the farm.

The man then found some farmers to work in the garden for him. Then he went away to another country. 34 The time to cut off the grapes had nearly arrived. The master sent his servants to speak to the farmers. He wanted them to give him the fruit that was his. 35 But the farmers took hold of the servants. They hit one of them with sticks. They killed another one. They threw stones at another servant and killed him. 36 So the master sent other servants to go to the farmers. He sent more servants than the first time. But the farmers did the same thing to those servants too. 37 After that, the master sent his own son to the farmers. He thought, “The farmers will surely respect my son.”

38 The farmers saw the master's son coming. They said to each other, “This is the master's own son. The garden will belong to him when his father dies. So, we should kill the son and then the garden will be ours.” 39 Then the farmers took hold of the son. They threw him out of the garden and they killed him.’

40 Jesus then said, ‘One day, the master will return to his garden. What do you think he will do then to those farmers?’

41 The Jewish leaders said to Jesus, ‘The master will completely destroy those bad people. Then he will give the garden to other farmers to work in. Those new farmers will give the master the fruit that he should have at the time of harvest.’

42 Jesus said to them, ‘I am sure that you have read this in the Bible:

“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.

21:42Jesus is this special stone. The Jewish leaders did not want to use it.

The Lord God did this.

And we can see that he did something great.”

43 I tell you this: Because you do not believe in me, God will take his kingdom away from you. He will give it to people who show that they obey him.

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

21:44Verse 44 is not in all copies of Matthew's book.

45 The leaders of the priests and the Pharisees heard what Jesus said in his stories. They knew that he was speaking against them. 46 They wanted to take hold of him and put him in prison. But they did not try to do it because they were afraid of the people. The people thought that Jesus was a prophet from God.