He began to tell the people this parable. “A man planted a vineyard, and rented it out to some farmers, and went into another country for a long time. At the proper season, he sent a servant to the farmers to collect his share of the fruit of the vineyard. But the farmers beat him, and sent him away empty. He sent yet another servant, and they also beat him, and treated him shamefully, and sent him away empty. He sent yet a third, and they also wounded him, and threw him out. The lord of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son. It may be that seeing him, they will respect him.’
“But when the farmers saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him, that the inheritance may be ours.’ They threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. What therefore will the lord of the vineyard do to them? He will come and destroy these farmers, and will give the vineyard to others.”
When they heard it, they said, “May it never be!”
But he looked at them, and said, “Then what is this that is written,
‘The stone which the builders rejected,
the same was made the chief cornerstone?’
Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces,
but it will crush whomever it falls on to dust.”
Jesus is such an incredible inspiration to us in so many ways and one of those ways is how carefully He read and believed the Scriptures. It is clear that He was very careful to believe everything that God had spoken which provides us with a powerful example like the one that Luke recorded here. Jesus’ faith in God’s Word is contrasted by the lack of faith of the people who thought that they knew the scriptures.
It appears that the people understood what this story meant. It is clearly a story that explains how the Jews had repeatedly disobeyed and rejected God’s messengers. We can all read about these things in the Old Testament parts of the Bible. The people seemed to understand that Jesus was talking about His coming death, but they didn’t appear to know that the Bible had predicted it.
Jesus, however, knew the Word of God and exactly where it was, and that it must take place. God’s word warned that He must die and those who “fall” on him will be broken to pieces and those on whom He falls on will be crushed. I believe that Jesus is simply saying that everyone who chooses to fall on Him must willing to expose and deal with their sin. These will be broken but saved. The rest will be utterly destroyed because they refused to fall down before Him. Jesus knew that the people were responsible to know these scriptures and so He challenged them with what was in their Bible. By doing so, he condemned them for not knowing what God said. Fortunately, He was about to make a way for condemned sinners to be saved.