That’s what the man decided! He felt his son would be respected by the tenants and sent him in that belief.

Alas, it was not to be. The son was rejected, mistreated and ultimately lost his life. It wasn’t what was hoped for. Neither was it what was needed. The tenants need only have desired to produce and share a sound and lasting crop. Again, greed got the better of them and they couldn’t bring themselves to acknowledge the Land Owner.

It goes without saying that Jesus is telling his own story here. God gave us the land – the world – and allowed us share in all its glory and wonder. In time people began to feel they owned the world and when the prophets tried to remind them that God was the Author of life, they were rejected, mistreated and killed. God sent more but the result was the same and eventually decided to send his own Son – only to have him too rejected, mistreated and killed.

How little seems to have changed. Again we – the “tenants” – have placed ourselves in the role of owner and the tendency to reject the Lord is very real. We can all too easily and frequently act as if we are the authors of our own destiny, without recourse to that “Higher Power” spoken of in twelve-step programmes where people, having hit rock bottom, seek to retrace steps and find a better road.

God is still offering us freedom, the use of HIS land but he hopes against hope, that we share our produce and give thanks. He dearly wants us to respect his Son.

It’s a story for our time, as surely as it was a story from his. That we may have ears to hear.

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