Don’t shoot the messenger
I. The CONFLICT is coming to a HEAD. (19:39-20:19)
A. Jesus’ SORROW at their BLINDNESS. (19:39-44)
B. Days of TENSION and CONFLICT. (19:45-48)
C. A QUESTION of AUTHORITY. (20:1-8)
The thread of conflict we spoke of last week is reaching a critical point in our text today. Jesus keeps doing things that the powerful and privileged find difficult, and they are actively seeking ways to get rid of Him.
1. Kid’s question: Why do think people liked AND didn’t like Jesus?
2. What have you seen of the tensions and conflict in Luke around Jesus and what has that been saying to you in regard to your own life?
II. A PARABLE that STRIKES deep. (20:9-19)
A. A METAPHOR that doesn’t HIDE anything. (v.9; Is. 5:1-7)
B. TENANTS who think they are OWNERS. (v.10-15)
C. A PATIENT and very PERSISTENT owner. (v.10-16)
D. And EVERYONE got the MESSAGE. (v.16,19)
This parable of the tenants in the vineyard is one of the clearest and most direct parables of Jesus. His listeners would have all been steeped in the imagery and there was very little left to interpretation. Jesus is within a week of dying and this parable definitely stirs the pot of controversy.
3. What stands out to you about the story that Jesus tells? What do you think it felt like to be there when He was telling it?
4. Why do you think the people were so upset at the owners actions (see v.16)? Would that have been a normal reaction in their day to this type of behaviour?
III. A POINTED and CHALLENGING truth. (v.16-19)
A. A REFUSAL to understand their ROLE. (v.17)
B. BROKEN or CRUSHED? (v.18)
When the people are shocked by his parable, Jesus quotes from Psalm 118 to further drive home His point. His coming will not only shake things up, it will reset the cornerstone of reality. He is a “line in the sand” moment.
5. How does living as a tenant look differently than living as in owner in our lives today? How can you tell which one you are doing?
6. Read v.18. Both options don’t sound so great, do they? What do you think Jesus is saying through this verse?
IV. HEARING the parable TODAY. (v.16; Rev. 2:29)
A. Choosing TENANCY over OWNERSHIP. (v.9; Ps. 24:1-2; I Cor. 6:19-20)
B. The PATIENT PERSISTENCE of God. (v.10-16; 2 Pet. 3:9; Na. 1:3)
C. Are you WILLING to hear the MESSENGERS? (Rom. 5:3-5; 2 Cor 12:7-10)
D. Lent: BROKENNESS as a PATHWAY to joy. (v.18; Ps. 51:17; Lk. 18:14)
Just as the parable was clear to the listeners the first day that Jesus told it, it speaks very directly to us today. All throughout Luke we’ve realized that there is a danger of being those in proximity to Jesus, yet clinging to religious status, power, and control. If we have ears to hear, let’s listen carefully today.
7. What are the “messengers” in your life right now? What might the “owner” be saying to you through them?
8. When has brokenness been a part of your life? What has God done through that? What are you hoping for that part of your life at this point?