Our scripture this week is Matthew 21:33-46.

“Listen to another parable: There was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a winepress in it and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and moved to another place. When the harvest time approached, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his fruit. The tenants seized his servants; they beat one, killed another, and stoned a third. Then he sent other servants to them, more than the first time, and the tenants treated them the same way. Last of all, he sent his son to them. ‘They will respect my son,’ he said. “But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him and take his inheritance.’ So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” “He will bring those wretches to a wretched end,” they replied, “and he will rent the vineyard to other tenants, who will give him his share of the crop at harvest time.” Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes’? Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. Anyone who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.” When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus’ parables, they knew he was talking about them. They looked for a way to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowd because the people held that he was a prophet.

Jesus has a sharp lesson for the leaders that are questioning Him. He tells them “The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone” (v. 42), telling them they are missing something important. It gives us a sense of His frustration that these leaders who should know Him and understand His mission are only concerned about maintaining their position and power.

Jesus speaks of the builders, a reference to those in charge, ones whose knowledge and experience should allow them to make the best choices. When they choose poorly, it also affects others. Jesus warns that those who lead must seek to make good decisions for the sake of all the people.

In some sense, we are all leaders. Our words and actions affect and influence others. As Christians we must ensure that we are an example to be followed, encouraging others to know His love.

Gracious God, we are called to bring Your light to a dark world, building on the lessons Jesus taught us. Help us to be loving and wise, showing others the joy of a relationship with You. Amen.

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