The Parable of the Tenants

This is a simplified version of the Bible story found in Matthew 21:33-45, written for children to understand. For the original version, please refer to the Bible passage.

One day, Jesus went to the temple to teach. The chief priests and leaders of the people came up to him and listened to what he had to say.

Jesus told them a story about a man who owned a vineyard. “Once there was a man who owned a vineyard,” Jesus began. “He built a fence around the vineyard, dug a winepress, and even put up a tower. Then, he leased the vineyard to some people and went away to another country.”

The chief priests and leaders were interested and listened carefully as Jesus continued the story. “When it was time for the fruit to be harvested, the owner sent his servants to collect it. But the tenants of the vineyard beat one of the servants, killed another, and even stoned another. The owner sent more servants, but the tenants treated them the same way.

Finally, the owner sent his own son, thinking that the tenants would respect him. But the tenants thought, ‘This is the owner’s son. If we kill him, we can have the vineyard for ourselves.’ So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.”

Jesus then asked what the owner would do to the tenants when he came back. “What do you think the owner will do to those wicked tenants?” Jesus asked.

“He will put those wretches to a miserable death and lease the vineyard to others who will give him the fruits in their season,” they answered.

Jesus then told them that the stone that the builders rejected would become the cornerstone. “Have you never read in the Scriptures,” Jesus said, ” ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?”

Jesus warned them that the kingdom of God would be taken away from them and given to people who produced its fruits. “Therefore I tell you,” Jesus said, “the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.”

The chief priests and leaders understood that Jesus was talking about them and they were not happy about it. They didn’t like what Jesus had to say and they wanted to arrest him.

Biblical Lessons

  • Disobedience to God leads to punishment.
  • We are accountable to God for how we use the resources and gifts that He has given us.
  • God shows mercy and patience towards us, but there is a limit to His patience.
  • God’s judgment is just and righteous, and He will hold us accountable for our actions.
  • God’s grace and mercy are available to all who repent and turn to Him in faith.

Related Stories

The Parable of the Sower

The Parable of the Good Samaritan

The Parable of the Prodigal Son

The Parable of the Talents

The Parable of the Wedding Feast