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Matthew 21:33-46, Vineyards & Evil, Plotting Tenants

Narrative Lectionary Key Verse for Today

Finally he sent his son to them, saying, “They will respect my son.” But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, “This is the heir; come, let us kill him and get his inheritance.”
— Matthew 21:37-38

NL Daily Devotion for Saturday, March 30, 2019

by Daniel D. Maurer, Clergy Stuff


One point of consistency with Jesus’ parables is that the more you read them with fresh eyes, the stranger they get.

I think often many of us who have heard these parables shared in worship or in Bible study all our lives have forgotten (or at least no longer recognize) how truly strange they are. I mean . . . what tenant would EVER come to the conclusion that if you killed the landlord’s son, you would get the inheritance?!

It’s just strange. But Jesus’ purpose in telling these strange stories is not necessarily to reflect reality; they are, instead, a story to move our hearts so we think differently than we did the day before. Faith, it seems, is meant to be lived in, and sometimes dwelt around, these strange stories called parables.

The leaders at that time of course recognized very quickly that Jesus was speaking against them. But they don’t end up doing anything because they’re afraid of the crowds of people. Populism, it seems, worked as well back then, as it sometimes does today.

The grace within this reading comes from the fact that even though the landlord’s son WAS killed—Jesus was crucified—even then, we do receive God’s eternal life, a rich inheritance to be sure.

Graceful God, you continually challenge us and stretch us with your holy scripture. Send us forth this week to pay attention to your Word, that we might live out, and within, your true grace. Amen

Earlier Event: March 29
Matthew 21:28-32, A Father & Two Sons
Later Event: March 31
Matthew 25:1-13, Bridesmaids