They kill the son (Mk 12:8-12:8)

“They seized him.

They killed him.

They threw him

Out of the vineyard.”

 

καὶ λαβόντες ἀπέκτειναν αὐτόν, καὶ ἐξέβαλον αὐτὸν ἔξω τοῦ ἀμπελῶνος.

 

This parable of the killing of the landowner’s son can be found in Matthew, chapter 21:39, and Luke, chapter 20:15, almost word for word.  Mark indicated that Jesus continued with this story.  Thus, these wicked tenants seized his son (καὶ λαβόντες).  Then they killed him (ἀπέκτειναν αὐτόν).  Finally, they threw him out or cast him out of the vineyard (καὶ ἐξέβαλον αὐτὸν ἔξω τοῦ ἀμπελῶνος).  The meaning of this parable was becoming clearer.  The landowner was God the Father.  The tenants were the Jewish religious leaders.  The slaves were the Israelite prophets.  Jesus was the son of the Father.  He was killed and thrown outside of Jerusalem, the vineyard.  Clearly, Jesus would not have to explain this parable to his disciples and apostles.

The Pharisees understand the parable (Mt 21:45-21:45)

“When the chief priests

And the Pharisees

Heard his parables,

They realized

That he was speaking

About them.”

 

Καὶ ἀκούσαντες οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς καὶ οἱ Φαρισαῖοι τὰς παραβολὰς αὐτοῦ ἔγνωσαν ὅτι περὶ αὐτῶν λέγει·

 

This admission by both the chief priests and the Pharisees, no longer the elders, can be found in Mark, chapter 12:12, and Luke, chapter 20:19, but slightly different.  The chief priests and the Pharisees (οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς καὶ οἱ Φαρισαῖοι) did not have to wait for an explanation of this parable about the wicked evil tenants of the vineyard and the other parables.  They knew or realized, on hearing (Καὶ ἀκούσαντες) this parable story (τὰς παραβολὰς αὐτοῦ), that these evil tenants that Jesus was talking about were them (ἔγνωσαν ὅτι περὶ αὐτῶν λέγει).

The tenants kill the landowner’s son (Mt 21:37-21:39)

“Finally,

The landowner sent

His son

To them.

He said.

‘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!

We will get

His inheritance!’

They seized him.

They cast him out

Of the vineyard.

They killed him.”

 

ὕστερον δὲ ἀπέστειλεν πρὸς αὐτοὺς τὸν υἱὸν αὐτοῦ λέγων Ἐντραπήσονται τὸν υἱόν μου.

οἱ δὲ γεωργοὶ ἰδόντες τὸν υἱὸν εἶπον ἐν ἑαυτοῖς Οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ κληρονόμος· δεῦτε ἀποκτείνωμεν αὐτὸν καὶ σχῶμεν τὴν κληρονομίαν αὐτοῦ·

καὶ λαβόντες αὐτὸν ἐξέβαλον ἔξω τοῦ ἀμπελῶνος καὶ ἀπέκτειναν.

 

This parable of the killing of the landowner’s son can be found in Mark, chapter 12:6-8, and Luke, chapter 20:13-15, almost word for word.  Finally, this landowner sent his own son to these wicked tenants (ὕστερον δὲ ἀπέστειλεν πρὸς αὐτοὺς τὸν υἱὸν αὐτοῦ).  He said to himself that they would respect his son (Ἐντραπήσονται τὸν υἱόν μου).  Instead, when the tenants saw the son of the landowner (οἱ δὲ γεωργοὶ ἰδόντες τὸν υἱὸν), they said to themselves (εἶπον ἐν ἑαυτοῖς) that he was the heir (Οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ κληρονόμος).  They were going to kill him (δεῦτε ἀποκτείνωμεν αὐτὸν), thinking that they would get his inheritance (καὶ σχῶμεν τὴν κληρονομίαν αὐτοῦ).  They were really dumb.  Thus, they seized his son (καὶ λαβόντες αὐτὸν) and cast him out of the vineyard (ἐξέβαλον ἔξω τοῦ ἀμπελῶνος), where they killed him (καὶ ἀπέκτειναν).  The meaning of this parable was becoming clearer.  The landowner was God the Father.  The tenants were the Jewish religious leaders.  The slaves were the Israelite prophets.  Jesus was the son of the Father.  He was killed outside of Jerusalem, the vineyard.  Clearly, Jesus would not have to explain this parable to his disciples and apostles.

Which son did the will of his father? (Mt 21:31-21:31)

“‘Which of the two

Did the will of his father?’

They said.

‘The first.’

Jesus said to them.

‘Truly!

I say to you!

The tax collectors

And the prostitutes

Are going into

The kingdom of God

Before you.’”

 

τίς ἐκ τῶν δύο ἐποίησεν τὸ θέλημα τοῦ πατρός; λέγουσιν Ὁ ὕστερος. λέγει αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι οἱ τελῶναι καὶ αἱ πόρναι προάγουσιν ὑμᾶς εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ.

 

This parable explanation is unique to Matthew.  Jesus entered into a dialogue with the chief priests and elders to explain his parable story, which would have been unusual since he normally explained the parable to his disciples.  In this parable story, Jesus asked which of the two sons did the will of his father (τίς ἐκ τῶν δύο ἐποίησεν τὸ θέλημα τοῦ πατρός)?  They, probably the chief priests and elders, responded that the first son had done the will of his father, even though he said no at first (λέγουσιν Ὁ ὕστερος).  Then Jesus issued a solemn pronouncement (λέγει αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν).  He said that the tax collectors and the prostitutes were going into the kingdom of God before them (ὑμῖν ὅτι οἱ τελῶναι καὶ αἱ πόρναι προάγουσιν ὑμᾶς εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ).  Notice that Matthew has Jesus say the “Kingdom of God,” “τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ” and not the usual “Kingdom of heaven,” “βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν.”  The first son or the tax collectors and prostitutes had repented or changed their minds since they were willing to work in the vineyard.  The second son or the chief priests and elders said they would work in the vineyard but were like hypocrites who did not follow the Law, even though they wanted others to do so.

 

The second son (Mt 21:30-21:30)

“The father went

To the second son.

He said the same thing.

The second son answered.

‘I will go!’

But he did not go.”

 

προσελθὼν δὲ τῷ δευτέρῳ εἶπεν ὡσαύτως. ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν Οὐ θέλω, ὕστερον μεταμεληθεὶς ἀπῆλθεν.

 

This parable is unique to Matthew, somewhat like the parable of the day laborers in the vineyard in chapter 20:1-16.  Jesus continued his parable story with the father landowner going to his second son (προσελθὼν δὲ τῷ δευτέρῳ).  He told this second son the same thing (εἶπεν ὡσαύτως) that he had said to his first son.  He wanted him to go out and work in the vineyard today.  The second son answered (ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν) that he was willing to go (Οὐ θέλω) into the vineyard and work that day.  However, afterwards, he changed his mind.  He did not go to work in the vineyard.  The “οὐκ” or “not” is missing in a lot of the Greek manuscripts.

The first son (Mt 21:28-21:29)

“What do you think?

A man had two sons.

He went to the first one.

He said.

‘Son!

Go!

Work

In the vineyard today.’

He answered.

‘I will not!’

But later

He changed his mind.

He went out to work.”

 

Τί δὲ ὑμῖν δοκεῖ; ἄνθρωπος εἶχεν τέκνα δύο· προσελθὼν τῷ πρώτῳ εἶπεν Τέκνον, ὕπαγε σήμερον ἐργάζου ἐν τῷ ἀμπελῶνι.

ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν Ἐγὼ κύριε, καὶ οὐκ ἀπῆλθεν.

 

This parable is unique to Matthew and is reminiscent of the parable of the day laborers in the vineyard in chapter 20:1-16.  Jesus was still talking with the chief priests and elders.  Jesus continued with another parable by asking them what did they think (Τί δὲ ὑμῖν δοκεῖ)?  In this parable story, a man had two sons (ἄνθρωπος εἶχεν τέκνα δύο).  He went to the first one (προσελθὼν τῷ πρώτῳ).  He told this first son to go and work in his vineyard that day (εἶπεν Τέκνον, ὕπαγε σήμερον ἐργάζου ἐν τῷ ἀμπελῶνι).  However, this first son answered (ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν) that he was not going to go out into the vineyard to work (Ἐγὼ κύριε, καὶ οὐκ ἀπῆλθεν).  Interesting enough, most of the Greek manuscript texts do not have the last phrase that this son changed his mind.  However, the explanations assume this verse that the first son later or afterwards changed his mind and went out to work in the vineyard (ὕστερον δὲ μεταμεληθεὶς ἀπῆλθεν).

Pay the day laborers (Mt 20:8-20:8)

“When evening came,

The owner of the vineyard

Said to his manager.

‘Call the laborers!

Give them their pay!

Begin with the last.

Then go to the first.’”

 

ὀψίας δὲ γενομένης λέγει ὁ κύριος τοῦ ἀμπελῶνος τῷ ἐπιτρόπῳ αὐτοῦ Κάλεσον τοὺς ἐργάτας καὶ ἀπόδος τὸν μισθόν, ἀρξάμενος ἀπὸ τῶν ἐσχάτων ἕως τῶν πρώτων.

 

This parable is unique to Matthew.  When evening came (ὀψίας δὲ γενομένης), the owner or the lord of the vineyard told his manager, steward, or foreman (λέγει ὁ κύριος τοῦ ἀμπελῶνος αὐτοῦ) to call the laborers in (Κάλεσον τοὺς ἐργάτας) from the vineyard.  He was to pay them their day’s pay that day (καὶ ἀπόδος τὸν μισθόν).  Based on the Jewish Mosaic law in Leviticus, chapter 19:13, they were not to keep for themselves the wages of a laborer until the next morning.  The same can be found in Deuteronomy, chapter 24:14-15, but with a little more elaboration.  Poor laborers were to get their pay immediately every day before sunset.  Otherwise guilt would come upon the land owner.  There was a sense of justice that people who lived day to day should get their daily pay.  Thus, the manager was to pay the day laborers beginning with the last ones hired and work his way up to the first ones hired (ἀρξάμενος ἀπὸ τῶν ἐσχάτων ἕως τῶν πρώτων).