This parable is obviously about the Jewish people. God expected them to call humanity to God. They stopped thinking that their God was so wonderful and started thinking they were wonderful. When God sends the prophets to them they reject and even kill them. Then God sends his son, Jesus, and they will kill Him as well. The Jews will be punished and the vineyard given to the new people of God Christians.
The meaning is summed up in verse 42 &43 “the stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.” “Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing it’s fruits.”
This is a simple message we need to hear. If we fail to produce the fruit of the kingdom, God will take his blessing away from us and give it to another. God wants the message of forgiveness to be shared, God wants His compassion and love for the broken and hurting taken to those who need it. Should we fail God will find someone who will take it.
All of this brings us to a choice we find in verse 44, “And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.”
Everyone of us runs into or trips over Jesus. A place where we realize we are sinful and need saving. When we come to this place we will be broken and surrender our lives to Him. If we fail to be broken before God then the judgement of God will crush us. A simple case of on the stone or under it.
Personally have you confessed to God that you are a sinful person who on your own has screwed up life, asked Him for forgiveness and then asked Jesus to take control and pledged yourself to follow Him? Have you been broken on Jesus the rock.
As a church we also must ask are we broken on the rock? Are we submitted to God and caring out His mission in the world? Do we like the Jews think that we are entitled to God’s love, or will we fall broken and submit to God.
The good news is that those who are broken Jesus will lift up and heal. God is not impressed by our resilience, He is impressed by our willingness to be broken. A simple question of on the rock or under the rock? Which will we choose? A simple prayer for each of us. “Lord I have sinned and am broken, please forgive me. Give me a new life today and show me how to live. I will follow you.” And a prayer for all of us “Lord Jesus we have not done the best we can to follow you and do your work. We have been prideful and arrogant, please forgive us, transform us from our church to your church. Give us new life to serve you and bear fruit for you.” AMEN