Matthew 21:33-46 narrates the closing portion of Jesus' dispute in the temple with the chief priests and Pharisees that began in Matthew 21:23. Although this wasn't the first clash between Jesus and the religious leaders after his arrival in Jerusalem, he had not been in the city long (Matthew 21:12-17). The altercation began when the priests and elders approached Jesus and asked, "By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?" Jesus also reminds us that there is a “Cornerstone,” of life that those who wish to destroy it or change will not prevail. The Cornerstone in mind is the essence of who Jesus was in his life and teachings. The truths he share with humanity remain prevalent to this day.
- The parable of the tenants
- The metaphor of the Vineyard was a common theme for the great Prophet Isaiah.
- The similarities and differences of Jesus parable compare to Isaiah.
- Matthew was writing to a Jewish audience. They would have been very familiar with Isaiah’s imagery.
- Matthew’s Gospel was most likely written between 90 and 110 CE. The temple Jesus was teaching in was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE.
- There was a common theme of the “Temple,” running through Isaiah, Jesus and Matthew’s stories.
- The temple Jesus teaches about is a not a structure but rather, the human soul.
- God is not Co-Dependent!
- Even though the Chief Priests realize Jesus was referring to them as the evil tenants, they consciously plotted to arrest Jesus.
- One’s rebellion or rejection of the Cornerstone is not going to destroy that Cornerstone.
- What are we doing with the time we have?
- What kind of fruit are we producing?
- Is it consistent to the Cornerstone that was Jesus?
Call to Celebration
God of Creation, we rejoice in your vineyard.
You have offered us a space to create beauty.
We choose to reject violence.
We embrace becoming fully human.
We reject othering.
We embrace inclusion.
We reject hiding ourselves to make others comfortable.
We embrace the power of the light that causes us to shine openly.
You meet us where we are, Holy One. Through stories, you remind us what it takes to be authentic. Rejection stifles fruitful living. Help us to receive the blessing of abundance by opening ourselves to the possibilities of change. Amen
Bringing in the Light
Celebrations and Concerns
Matthew 21: 33-46
Taking the Light into the World
A Prayer for Peace and Restoration
God, too often we have rejected the inner yeses of our souls. It feels too risky to leap into faith. Hiding is safe. Remind us that our fear paints a false reality. Truth is only discovered in seeking. When we are afraid and choose comfortable instead, remind us that we are rejecting abundance. Amen
Rev. LaTrell Harrison