March 13, 2015 | By Sean Mathew
And he began to speak to them in parables. “A man planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a pit for the winepress and built a tower, and leased it to tenants and went into another country. When the season came, he sent a servant to the tenants to get from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. And they took him and beat him and sent him away empty-handed. Again he sent to them another servant, and they struck him on the head and treated him shamefully. And he sent another, and him they killed. And so with many others: some they beat, and some they killed. He had still one other, a beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But those tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ And they took him and killed him and threw him out of the vineyard. What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others. Have you not read this Scripture:
“‘The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
this was the Lord’s doing,
and it is marvelous in our eyes’?”
And they were seeking to arrest him but feared the people, for they perceived that he had told the parable against them. So they left him and went away.
(Mark 12:1-12 ESV)
As I read over this passage afresh and anew, I found myself tempted to become appalled at the audacity, insensitivity, and downright evil ways of the vinedressers. How could do they do such a thing? How could they take for granted the owner of the vineyard and deny him his due fruit? How could they treat the owner’s servants the way they did? And how could they treat the owner’s son in such a shameful way? In other words, how could they perpetrate such suffering?