Jesus’ Parable of the Tenants

TenantsTITLE: Jesus’ Parable of the Tenants

SUBJECT: Parables of Jesus

PROPOSITION: We will look at the parable and then draw out some principles.

OBJECTIVE: We need to take care of God’s people as Jesus desires, not as we desire.


1. Read: Mark 12:1-11

2. About the Text:

1) This is one of Jesus’ denunciation parables.

2) This was spoken in the days leading up to His crucifixion.

3) He was speaking this parable against the Jewish leaders who wanted to kill Him.

4) It served as a warning for them to repent of their murderous thoughts.

5) What can we learn from this parable today?

3. Ref. to S, T, P, O, and A.


I.   The Parable

1. The vineyard.

1) A master plants a vineyard.

2) He puts a fence around it and a watchtower over it.

3) He put a winepress in it to process the fruits.

4) All of this shows God’s complete providence for His people.

5) Isaiah 5:7a – “For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, And the men of Judah are His pleasant plant.”

2. The tenants.

1) The master went into a far country.

2) He left the vineyard in the hands of tenants.

3) He sent servants to get the fruit.

4) The tenants killed the servants.

5) He finally sent His Son, and they killed Him too.

6) The servants are the prophets, and the Son is Jesus.

3. The application.

1) Jesus asks what the owner will do with these tenants.

2) They said that he will put them to death and give his vineyard to others.

3) Jesus quotes from Psalm 118:22-23, a messianic prophecy.

4) He says the kingdom would be taken away from them – Jewish Nation.

5) He said the kingdom would be given to those who produce fruits – Gentiles.

6) Finally, the stone will prevail over all – See Daniel 4.

II.  Principles to Learn

1. God loves and provides for His people.

1) Isaiah 5:1-7

2) Today, God’s people are the church (1 Timothy 3:15).

2. Leaders must recognize that God’s people belong to God.

1) The church belongs to Jesus Christ – Acts 20:28, 1 Cor.6:20.

2) Leaders are stewards, not owners.

a. 1 Corinthians 4:1-2 – “Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.”

b. Titus 1:7 – “For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money,”

3. Leaders must not “kill” Jesus to pursue their own agenda.

1) Hebrews 6:6 says that we can crucify the Son of God again.

2) Leaders must take great care to follow Jesus alone.

3) Many have killed Jesus today and pursued their own desires.

4. God is jealous of His people.

1) He will avenge those who seek to use His people for their own devices.

2) Jesus will remove the churches that are not doing His will (Revelation 2:5).

5. God uses a stricter standard of judgment for leaders.

1) James 3:1

2) Hebrews 13:17

6. God’s will prevails ultimately; you can’t fight against God.

1) Jesus is the rock that will prevail against all.

2) If we try to oppose Him, we will only do ourselves harm.

3) 1 Peter 2:4-8


1. Are we doing what Jesus wants us to do with His people?

1) Are we protecting the vineyard by keeping the word of God?

2) Are we letting Jesus lead us every day?

3) Are we producing the fruit of the vineyard by evangelizing others?

4) What will the master of the vineyard say about our stewardship?

2. Invitation