Parable of the Tenants
Categories: Children's Church
Lesson: Jesus is the chief cornerstone
- The chief priests and teachers of the law didn’t like Jesus. Jesus was always talking about the Good News that God had for his people. They did not want other people hearing about God from Him. They did not believe that Jesus was God’s Son.
- They demanded to know what authority he had. So Jesus told them this parable.
- One day a man planted a vineyard. A vineyard is a place where they grow grapes so they can make wine. The owner put a big wall around it. Then he dug a big hole, called a winepress, in the ground so he could crush and squeeze all the juice out of the fruit.
- The owner needed to go on a trip, so he found some farmers to stay at the vineyard to work while he was away.
- Then the time finally came when the fruit was ready to be eaten and used to make wine. So the owner sent someone back to the vineyard to collect some of the fruit.
- The farmers saw this person coming. What do you think they did? They grabbed him, beat him up, and sent him back with nothing.
- The owner found out what happened. He sent another person to try and collect some grapes. Do you know what happened? They also beat him and treated him shamefully and sent him back empty handed.
- So the owner sent still another person. Do you know what they did this time? The farmers wounded the man and threw him out!
- The owner then decided to send his own son. He loved his son very much. He thought to himself, “The farmers will respect my son.”
- The farmers recognized who the man’s son was. They said to themselves, “This is his son. When the owner dies, his son will get the vineyard. But if we kill his son, then the only ones left to get the vineyard will be us.” So they killed him too, and threw him out of the vineyard.
- After Jesus shared this story, he asked the leaders a question. “What will the owner of the vineyard do now? He will come and kill all those farmers and then give the vineyard to other people.”
- Then Jesus quoted from Psalm 118. “Haven’t you read what Scripture says, ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the most important stone of all.”
2. Lesson(extra scripture verses are for your personal reference/study. Not necessary to mention all to the kids … maybe only 1 or 2 key ones. Tks)
- Who were the people in this story?
- The vineyard owner represented God
- The vineyard was God’s people
- The farmers were the religiousleaders and teachers of the law
- The people sent by the owner were the prophets
- God had sent these prophets to tell Israel about the coming Messiah
- The Jews, their religious leaders and teachers of the law had always opposed these prophets and killed them.
- Jesus once wept over Jerusalem (Luke 13:34): “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you. How often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!”
- Who do you think the vineyard son was? Jesus.
- God was going to save his people. And even though his prophets were rejected, He still continued His plan of salvation.
- Jesus knew that He would be put to death. And through this parable, He was telling the religious leaders about His death.
- Because it was through His death that all man could live through Him.
- Jesus was the stone that the builders rejected
- He was a stumbling block to the religious leaders (1 Cor 1:22; Isaiah 8:14). A stumbling block is a stone that is in your way and you fall/trip over it. For the Jews, Jesus was a stumbling block. They couldn’t accept Him — instead they fell/tripped all over Him.
- The Jews could not accept that there could be salvation apart from all that they were doing — adhering to the Law and their religious traditions.
- They wanted to be righteous before God, but they wanted to do it their way — by their own works in trying to fully obey the Lord.
- The problem is that they could never fulfill it fully. Because God’s way was perfect. And only God could meet that standard.
- Jesus was saying that those who fell on that stone, who tripped over Jesus and His free gift of righteousness, who rejected it, would be broken to pieces and crushed. They would never be able to be righteous on their own.
- Despite all that opposition, Jesus has become the cornerstone — the most important stone of all!
- Even though He was killed, Jesus resurrected after 3 days and became the stone that holds everything together, the rock upon which God built His church (Matt 16:18, 1 Cor 3:11).
- If we trust in Him alone and accept His gift of righteousness, Jesus becomes our refuge, our shelter, our salvation.
- As Peter said in Act 4:11-12, Jesus is “‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’ Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
- Who is Jesus to you? A stumbling block? Or the cornerstone?
- Let’s not be like the Jews and religious leaders who refuse to accept God’s free gift of salvation and righteousness through Jesus.
- Let’s trust in Jesus, our cornerstone, our rock of refuge, and enjoy the life He gives to us!
- 1 Cor 1:18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
- Memory verse: Luke 20:17‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.”
3. Activity Suggestion
- Memory Verse Review:
- Use an activity or game to help the kids remember the Memory Verse